World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey calls PYD as the Syrian affiliate of the extremist PKK group. The YPG is the militant wing of the PYD.
Speaking during a live television program on Haberturk late Wednesday, Yildirim said Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield aims to clear the PYD and the YPG as well as ISIL from a particular zone along the Turkish border in northern Syria.
"Syrian opposition [Free Syrian Army] are [now] settled in Jarabulus, and have started to control the villages and towns near the area. But the whole zone, including Jarabulus, needs to be cleared of the PYD and the YPG. There should be Syrians [living there]," he said.
Turkish military’s Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria was launched early Wednesday, when artillery and airstrikes were followed by Turkish tanks crossing the border to target ISIL in support of the Free Syrian Army fighters.
The operation is in line with the country’s right to self-defense borne out of international treaties and a mandate given to Turkey’s armed forces by the Turkish parliament in 2014, which was extended for another year in September 2015.
Since January, rocket attacks on the Turkish province of Kilis from ISIL-held territory in Syria have killed at least 21 people while extremist attacks in Gaziantep blamed on ISIL include Saturday’s suicide bombing of a wedding that killed 54 and a car bomb attack in May that martyred two police officers.