YPG camps targeted for Turkey's security: EU minister

Omer Celik calls airstrikes matter of national security, criticizes US expression of 'concern' in their wake

YPG camps targeted for Turkey's security: EU minister

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey’s EU minister has said that airstrikes in northeastern Syria Tuesday were done to safeguard the nation’s security, also criticizing the U.S. position on the strikes.

"NATO member state Turkey hit a terrorist camp that posed a threat to itself. This terrorist camp was visited by another NATO country, a U.S. commander, and [was seen with] a member of that terrorist group," Omer Celik told A Haber TV Wednesday.

Criticizing a U.S. statement on the airstrikes, Celik said, "A statement which came after the operation saying ‘We are deeply concerned’ shows a mistaken approach".

The U.S. State Department Tuesday said it was "deeply concerned" over the strikes, which targeted the YPG -- the terrorist PKK’s Syrian branch -- on Mt. Sinjar, northern Iraq and Mt. Karacok, northeastern Syria.

While Ankara sees both the YPG and PKK as terrorists, the U.S. considers the PKK a terrorist group, but has called the YPG a “reliable partner” in Syria.

Celik stated that photos purportedly taken after the airstrikes said by Turkish media to show a U.S. commander posing at the Mt. Karacok camp alongside a PKK commander are harming the alliance between NATO allies Turkey and the U.S.

"These photos need to be mainly questioned at this point," Celik added.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the military hit the PKK targets it did Tuesday to prevent the terrorist group from sending terrorists, arms, ammunition, and explosives to Turkey.

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU -- resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015 and since then has been responsible for the deaths of approximately 1,200 security personnel and civilians, including women and children.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Nisan 2017, 15:26