Turkey slams US remarks on Syria withdrawal as ‘irrational’

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Responding to U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton’s remarks, Turkish presidential spokesman has said claims that Turkey targets Kurds are “irrational.”

In a statement, İbrahim Kalın said: “The issue is PKK/PYD/YPG are making efforts to establish an order by oppressing Kurds, who don’t obey them, and their terrorist activities against our country.”

“There is no doubt that a terror group cannot be an ally of the U.S.,” Kalın said, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.

Earlier on Jan. 6, Bolton said the U.S. will not withdraw troops from northeastern Syria until Turkish government guarantees fight against ISIL and that it won’t attack “Kurdish fighters.”

Turkey considers the YPG as the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by both Ankara and Washington.

Kalın highlighted that Turkey’s aim in fight against terrorism is to provide national security, and ensure regional peace and stability while facing multiple terror organizations including PKK, ISIL and FETÖ.

The presidential spokesman said the country was going to coordinate with its allies and the countries in the region in fight against terrorism, while resolutely implementing the policies required for the national security.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s principle that “we will be both on the ground and at the table” clearly explains that both military and diplomatic means are always open for the national interests, Kalın said.

He stressed that Turkey’s aim was to clear Syria of all terror groups, to protect its territorial integrity and provide political and social conditions for the safe return of Syrians to their country by protecting lives of the civilians.

Kalın also said the YPG “cannot represent Syrian Kurds.”

“It’s disrespectful to our Kurdish brothers to claim they are represented by a terror group,” he added.

Kalın added that Turkey‘s aim while fighting against PKK and its Syrian branch is “to rescue Kurds from the tyranny and oppression of this terror group and to ensure their safety of life and property.”

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