A possible military operation by Turkey in the Afrin region of northern Syria is the country’s “lawful right,” Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said on Jan. 16.
Speaking in a weekly address to his party’s parliamentary deputies, Bahçeli blasted the move by the U.S.-led international coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to establish a 30,000-strong border security force with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is largely controlled and manned by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
“The U.S. is safeguarding terror and terrorists in Syria. They are clearly violating international law,” Bahçeli said, warning that Turkey should act swiftly to “destroy the source of terrorism.”
“If we do not, a plan to occupy Turkey is on the secret agenda of those shameless people who have gathered in the enemy camp,” he added.
“Cutting the ties of the terror corridor with the Mediterranean Sea by entering Afrin at dawn, showing the iron fist of the Turkish nation, and legitimately intervening [against] terrorists is our lawful right,” Bahçeli said.
On Jan. 14, Turkish security forces hit several YPG targets in Afrin, stating that it was acting to prevent a “terror corridor” from forming along Turkey’s borders.
“Afrin should be cleared. Manbij and other sources, other terror camps and terrorist areas, should be destroyed,” MHP leader Bahçeli also said.