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    A fighter from the Kurdish People Protection Unit (YPG) poses for a photo at sunset in the Syrian town of Ain Issi, some 50 kilometres north of Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State (IS) group during clashes between IS group jihadists and YPG fighters on July 10, 2015

    Senior PYD Official Warns That 'Turkey Wants to Occupy Syria'

    Middle East
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    Turkey has launched a military operation in Syria to pursue political objectives, rather than security or humanitarian goals, Ewwas Eli, a senior member of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), told Sputnik Turkey, adding that Ankara plans to take control over the neighboring Arab country.

    "The territory that Turkey wants to advance to belongs to the Syrian state. These lands are part of Syria's sovereign system. Attacking these lands means attacking a sovereign state," he said. "Turkey wants to occupy Syria."

    Ewwas Eli, responsible for foreign relations of the PYD's branch in Kobani, warned that Ankara has pursued political goals with its large-scale military offensive, known as Operation Euphrates Shield. The ongoing campaign has been aimed at pushing Daesh out of northern Syria and preventing the Kurds from linking key areas under their control in the region.

    Turkey has reached these objectives when its forces and allied Syrian rebels took control over the Syrian city of al-Bab following a months-long operation. However, Ankara has repeatedly indicated that it wanted to proceed further into Syria, naming Manbij and Raqqa as its next intended targets.

    "Turkey has repeatedly said that it wants to create a buffer zone for civilians in Syria. However, Ankara's true goals are political in their nature. Turkey's politics towards Syria has been dependent on whether Kurdish forces are present in a certain area or not," Ewwas Eli said.

    The PYD official emphasized that Turkey has been particularly opposed to granting the Kurds greater autonomy, let alone independence.

    "Turkey does not want our initiative aimed at creating a federation to succeed. As a result, they don't want the cantons of Afrin and Kobani to be united in a bid to prevent a Kurdish state entity from being established in northern Syria."

    President Erdogan and his supporters maintain that the PYD and its armed wing, known as People's Protection Units (YPG), are affiliated with Kurdistan Workers' Party, which Ankara calls a terrorist organization. Turkish authorities assert that the Kurds have been one of the key sources of unrest in Turkey. At the same time, the Kurds have been instrumental in the anti-Daesh operation in both Iraq and Syria.

    "We don't want to fight the Turkish people," Ewwas Eli said. "On the contrary, we dream of living in peace with the Turks as neighbors. We don't want to see any hostilities between each other. We don't want civilians to die on either side. The Turks must oppose the false, dirty politics targeted against the Kurds and offer a helping hand to them."

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    Syrian crisis, Syrian Kurds, military operation in Syria, military operation, Syrian conflict, Operation Euphrates Shield, Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Ewwas Eli, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Syria
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