ANKARA (Sputnik) – Syrian Kurdish forces will become a target for Turkish forces in northern Syria unless they move east of Euphrates, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday.
"First of all, the goal of the operation in Jarabulus is to clear the region of Daesh. Winning over Daesh with airstrikes is impossible, we can do this through ground operations. Local residents are taking part in the operation backed by Turkey. Those who always lived here must return to this land. But the aim of the Syrian Kurdish defense forces is different: they are making locals leave their homes, they engage in ethnic cleansing. Therefore, as previously stated by the US and by the Syrian Kurds themselves, they need to move east of Euphrates, otherwise they will become a target in this operation," Cavusoglu told reporters.
Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds escalated in July 2015 when a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) collapsed over a series of terrorist attacks, allegedly committed by PKK members. Ankara considers PYD an affiliate of PKK, which is outlawed in Turkey.