Turkey’s Afrin operation will help to prevent Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from reaching Europe through the Mediterranean, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Jan. 25.
“We are providing security not only for the region, but also for Europe,” he said during a Turkish postal service (PTT) ceremony.
Turkey is the southern border of Europe, he said.
Yıldırım also slammed the U.S. for cooperating with the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Syrian Kurdish militia that Ankara sees as a terror organization for its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“Doing business with terrorist organizations, planning works in the region with a terrorist organization, is indeed a very degrading activity for America to participate in,” he said.
Referring to the U.S., Yıldırım said one of Turkey’s key partners and NATO allies in the region was clinging to terror groups.
“It is a sad and dire situation,” he said.
The prime minister said it was “unacceptable” that such country was supporting “terror organizations” instead of protecting NATO’s borders.
“We will not allow any terror organization to establish itself along our 1,350-kilometer-long (839 miles) southern border that runs from Iran to the Mediterranean Sea, passing Iraq, Syria and the east and west of the Euphrates River,” Yıldırım stressed.
Speaking about the YPG attack on a mosque in Turkey’s Kilis province, he said a necessary response had been given and the responsible militants eliminated
He said the terrorists should face Turkish soldiers instead of attacking worshippers in a mosque.
Yıldırım also said whenever YPG militants find unguarded persons or civilians they intend to kill them.
Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” on Jan. 20 to remove YPG militants from the Syrian district of Afrin.