Turkey’s counter-terrorism efforts do not target any specific ethnicities in northern Syria, but focus solely on the terror groups, Turkey's Defence Minister said Sunday at the 19th Doha Forum held in Qatar.
“We don’t have any problems with Kurds or any other ethnicity,” Hulusi Akar said, adding terror groups like YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists -- were Turkey’s only concern.
"YPG/PKK can never represent Kurds, like Daesh cannot represent Islam. Kurds are our brothers and sisters. We will never allow the formation of a terror corridor in the south of our borders but a safe zone," he said.
“Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria is a counter-terrorism effort and does not target a specific ethnicity.”
Stating that terrorism gave birth to unprecedented political and social consequences, Akar said it also paved the way for radical ideologies, collapsed states, proxy wars, conflicts and mass migration.
He noted that extremist groups not only posed a threat to their own countries, but also harmed the international community.
Akar went on to say that every weapon given to the YPG was transferred to the PKK, which has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for decades killings tens of thousands of people.
The Turkish defense chief stressed that Ankara warned the international community not to wage a war on Daesh terrorists through the use of another terror group, the YPG/PKK.
Referring to Turkey’s counter-terrorism operation in northern Syria, dubbed Peace Spring, he said the operation was based on the 1998 Adana agreement – which was struck by Turkish and Syrian governments as a result of the former’s terror concern.
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate Kurdish militias from northern Syria, east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, and establish a safe zone to which millions of refugees can return.