Turkey: Opposition leader backs operation in N. Syria

Turkey’s opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader on Tuesday expressed support for a highly anticipated Turkish military operation in the northern Syrian city of Manbij.

“Nationalist Movement Party backs the government in its rightful fight against terrorism. Manbij should be saved from oppression,” Devlet Bahceli told his party’s parliamentary group.

Bahceli stressed people in the region east of the Euphrates River region should be protected from the YPG/PKK terrorists.

He said Turkey’s fight against terrorist in Syria is “rightful, legitimate and lawful.”

“Whatever the U.S. does, no matter what they say; Turkey should enter the region east of the Euphrates for right, law, survival, and the security of the oppressed people, and should do whatever is necessary,” he said.

The opposition party leader also slammed U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton’s recent remarks on Kurds in Syria.

“I categorically ask this: As an independent and sovereign country, does Turkey ask you and your bosses what to do? What kind of disrespect and what kind of misbehavior is this?” Bahceli questioned.

On Sunday, Bolton had said the U.S. will not withdraw troops from northeastern Syria until Turkish government guarantees fight against Daesh and that it won’t attack “Kurdish fighters,” referring to YPG/PKK terrorist group.

On Nov. 1, before the announcement that U.S. forces would leave Syria, Turkish and U.S. troops began joint patrols in Manbij as part of an agreement that focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists to stabilize the region.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.

U.S. President Donald Trump made in December the surprise announcement that the U.S. would withdraw its troops from Syria. The decision followed Trump’s phone call with Erdogan in which the two leaders agreed on the need for more effective coordination over the civil war-torn country.

U.S. troops in Syria have been cooperating with the YPG/PKK to fight Daesh, against Turkey’s objections that using one terrorist group to fight another makes no sense.

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