US should hand YPG leader over to Ankara: Erdogan


Speaking live on Turkey's state-run broadcaster TRT, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country has been harassed by terrorists in northern Syria for eight years, reports Anadolu Agency.

Erdoğan underlined that some NATO countries armed the YPG/PKK terror group, and that Germany, France and the US met the leaders of the terrorist organization. "Russia urged Turkey to enter Syria's Ayn al-Arab [Kobani], whereas the U.S. requested the opposite," he said.

He said a Turkish delegation would visit the U.S. on Nov. 13 to discuss recent developments in northern Syria, now-lifted U.S. sanctions on Turkey and bilateral ties.

Reiterating that Turkey had no issues with Kurdish people, Erdoğan said: "Kurds are our brothers, we do not have problems with them, we fight only terrorists."

Erdoğan said the Operation Peace Spring was named so due to the existence of large numbers of springs to the east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria.

He reiterated that the international community had been informed on Turkey's anti-terror operation east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria.

He stressed that Turkey could still hit terrorists beyond the safe zone, underlining that the country was acting on an anti-ISIL strategy in Syria.

Erdoğan said that seven members of the Turkish army were martyred amid the clashes in northern Syria, and 95 were wounded, while 96 were martyred from the Syrian National Army with 374 others wounded. He added that 20 civilians were martyred and 187 wounded during the operation.

Expressing his condolences to those who lost their lives and wishing speedy recovery for the wounded, Erdoğan said that solidarity between Turkey, Russia and Iran had prevented "bloodshed" in the thenorthwestern town of Idlib in Syria.

He said the YPG/PKK terror group's heavy weaponry should be handed over to NATO-member Turkey. Hailing his country's growing defense industry, Erdoğan said Turkey's nationally-built armed drones provided much "relief" in the anti-terror operation.

He urged the "civilized world" to back Turkey and its operation.

"Turkey needs international support for the settling of refugees," Erdoğan said, adding that Ankara planned to build hospitals and schools in a northern Syria safe-zone -- one of the operation's primary aims -- as well as ensure the voluntary return of refugees to the area.

He slammed the Arab League's stance on Operation Peace Spring, adding that the bloc had not helped Turkey in sheltering millions of Arabs.

"The Arab League was unable to resolve any issue in the Muslim world," he said.

Turkey rejects allies' dialogue with YPG/PKK terrorist Meanwhile, Turkish foreign minister on Oct. 25 criticized his country’s allies for dealing with a YPG/PKK ringleader sought with a red notice. "Our allies' dialogue with a terrorist wanted with a red notice is unacceptable," said MevlütÇavuşoğlu.

Earlier this week, U.S. senators -- including Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Chris Van Hollen -- asked the U.S. State Department to issue a visa to Şahin so he could visit the country.

U.S. President Donald Trump, spoke highly of Şahin on Twitter and "thanked" him, adding: "I look forward to seeing you."

The attitude of the U.S. politicians was criticized by Turkish officials, who said Şahin is a terrorist wanted with red notice, and he should be treated accordingly in line with Ankara’s agreements with Washington.