LOCAL NEWS

Erdoğan urges PKK/PYD terrorists in Afrin to surrender

Turkish artillery units hit PKK/PYD terrorist positions in Syria's northwestern Afrin province

Anadolu Agency

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday called on PKK/PYD terrorists in the Afrin district of Syria's Aleppo province to surrender as Turkish artillery units pounded their positions.

"Turkey will continue to be in the field and at the table in all matters concerning its national security," said Erdoğan during an address at the provincial congress meeting of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in the eastern Bingol province.

Erdoğan said that any venture in the region "has no chance of success" if Turkey has no consent in it, referring to the PYD/PKK terror group's effort to settle in Syria's northern regions along the Turkish border.

Turkey will interfere "if the terrorists in Afrin do not surrender," Erdogan said, adding that Turkish forces "are destroying the western wing of this corridor with the Idlib operation".

Turkish artillery units based in Turkey's southern Hatay province and Syria's Idlib hit PKK/PYD terrorist positions in Afrin's Bosoufane, Cindirese, Deir Bellout and Rajo districts, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents in the field.

The forces fired at least 36 times during artillery bombardment from Reyhanli and Kirikhan districts of Turkey's southern province Hatay and a Turkish Armed Forces observation point in Idlib.

On Oct. 12, 2017 the Turkish military began crossing into the region to establish observation points to monitor the cease-fire regime as part of the Astana Peace process.

During peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana in September last year, the three guarantor countries, Turkey, Iran and Russia, agreed to establish de-escalation zones in Idlib and in parts of the Aleppo, Latakia and Hama provinces.

The Turkish military units are also deployed in Afrin, a Haleppo district near Turkey-Syria border, which is under siege by the PKK/PYD terrorist organization.

The PKK/PYD is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.

Since the PKK launched its terror campaign in 1984, an estimated 40,000 people have been killed in Turkey in related violence.

Following a fragile cease-fire, the group resumed fighting in July 2015. Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of approximately 1,200 security personnel and civilians, according to an official tally.

+