While the EU continues to oppose Turkey's anti-terrorism efforts in northern Syria, the bloc's institutions and member countries continue harboring members of the PKK, despite it being on the EU terror list.
Most-wanted PKK terrorists are frequent participants in events of the European Parliament.
According to the Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2019 by EU police agency Europol, the PKK has been forcefully collecting funds from Kurdish businesses in Europe, while partaking in drug and human trafficking activities across the continent.
US VP, top diplomat to visit Turkey for talks
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will soon depart for Turkey to hold talks with top officials regarding Ankara’s ongoing Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria, President Donald Trump said Tuesday.Pence will be accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he departs Wednesday, Trump said in remarks delivered at the White House.A U.S. delegation will leave Tuesday ahead of the departure of the senior officials, according to the presidentTurkey remands four trying to recruit children for PKKTurkey's anti-terror operation rightful: ExpertsThe vice president's office released a statement adding Pence will be further accompanied by National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien, and Trump's special envoy for the anti-Daesh coalition James Jeffrey.The talks will begin Thursday, the office said, and Pence is set to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a bilateral meeting."The Administration is resolved to maintain security in the region, the safety of civilians, and the continued detention of ISIS fighters," the office said, using another name for the Daesh terrorist organization.YPG/PKK terror attacks kill six civilians in SyriaPKK continues to be Europe's favorite terror group
Schools suspended in north Syria amid PKK/YPG shelling
Education was suspended for two days in the northern Syrian town of Jarabulus, held by the Syrian armed opposition, due to attacks from the PKK/YPG terrorist group.Terrorists targeted the Gandura neighborhood of Jarabulus district on Tuesday. Six civilians were killed in the attack, with 13 injured.Operation Euphrates Shield and its successors, Operation Olive Branch in 2018 and Operation Peace Spring -- launched on Oct. 9 -- all aim to eliminate terrorist elements near Turkey’s borders, including Daesh and the YPG/PKK.Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.Video: Orthodox Jews in US support Turkish Peace Spring Operation
In 2015, Europol recognized the existence of PKK training camps in Belgium, as well as the foothills of the Alps in Switzerland in 2017.
PKK-linked associations, foundations and media groups in France were found to easily be able to disseminate the terrorist organization's propaganda.
The report found that many groups with ties to the PKK were also present in Belgium, where it said the terrorists' so-called Europe leaders resided.
According to the German government, hundreds have left the country to join the ranks of either the PKK or YPG, with the total being 204 in 2017.
US trained SDF for possible Turkish operation: report
U.S. forces trained the SDF, a rebranded version of the YPG terror group, for a possible operation by Turkish forces in northeastern Syria, Foreign Policy magazine reported Tuesday.Citing a U.S. Army officer who worked with the group, the magazine said the SDF was taught sophisticated battlefield tactics, including how to build a network of tunnels beneath key towns in northeast Syria as a contingency against a Turkish military campaign.The officer told Foreign Policy that the group started to work on tunnels after Turkey seized Afrin, Syria in 2018.Video: Orthodox Jews in US support Turkish Peace Spring OperationThe officer also said U.S. troops conducted several rehearsals with the SDF on how to coordinate in case of a Turkish operation as well as training to build a "defense in depth," a military strategy that seeks to cause a delay to an attacking force.A former U.S. Army officer who also worked with the SDF confirmed the "group built tunnels as a contingency" against Turkey, said the report.It added that the tunnels and other defenses were likely set up as part of preparations for an eventual U.S. withdrawal.Turkey remands four trying to recruit children for PKKYPG/PKK terror attacks kill six civilians in SyriaTurkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.PKK continues to be Europe's favorite terror groupIn its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.Since 2016, Turkey has conducted two major military operations in northwestern Syria -- Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch -- to eradicate threats from Daesh and the YPG, which is the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist group.Turkey remands four trying to recruit children for PKKTurkey's anti-terror operation rightful: Experts
Turkey not worried over sanctions, says Erdoğan
Turkey's president said late Tuesday that despite pressure to halt its anti-terror operation in northern Syria, Turkey is not worried about sanctions as the government is determined to eliminate the terror corridor near its borders.Speaking on his way home from a Turkic Council summit in Baku, Azerbaijan, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan touched on a range of subjects such as Turkey's ongoing anti-terror operation in northern Syria, the YPG/PKK terror group's mortar attacks on Turkish border provinces, and upcoming meetings with U.S. officials.Video: Orthodox Jews in US support Turkish Peace Spring Operation"They pressure us to halt the operation and announce sanctions," he said, referring to Western countries."Our goal is clear. We’re not worried about any sanctions," Erdoğan asserted, adding the YPG/PKK is losing ground as Operation Peace Spring continues to gain ground.He stressed that the U.S. urged Turkey to declare a cease-fire so it could act as a mediator between the conflicting parties, but he rejected the offer, as Turkey would not "sit down at a table with terrorist groups."Erdoğan went on to say that U.S. mediation between Turkey and the YPG/PKK terror group would make no sense in terms of foreign policy or the laws of war.Stressing that Turkey will press its operation until the area is cleared of terror elements, he said the territory would be given back to its true owners -- Syrians -- once the operation concludes.Turkey remands four trying to recruit children for PKKTurkey's anti-terror operation rightful: Experts"We’re on day seven of Operation Peace Spring. It’s continuing successfully as planned. We secured Ayn al-Arab on day four and Tal Abyad on day five by purging terrorists. Today, we reached 32 kilometers in. We have control over the M4 highway," he said.The president said a total of 611 terrorists had been neutralized so far, with 556 of them killed, while the Turkish army has had four martyrs and the Syrian National Army (SNA) 32.He stressed that the U.S., Russia, the European Union, and NATO were briefed on Turkey's actions and goals for the operation, adding that its success went beyond foreign countries' expectations as it secured a significant portion of northern Syria within a week.US has to work with Turkey on their terms, says expertYPG/PKK terror attacks kill six civilians in SyriaClear goal"Our goal is clear: cleaning our borders of any terror elements and ensuring the safe return of the refugees…The operation will continue until the goals are achieved," he added.Erdoğan said the Turkish Armed Forces takes great care not to harm civilians, unlike the anti-Daesh coalition and the YPG/PKK's operations in Mosul, Iraq as well as Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor in Syria, where thousands of civilians were killed."Unfortunately, the Western countries always ignored [civilian losses] and never talked about these. Now they’re trying to pressure us. Our operation is and has been against terror groups," he said.PKK continues to be Europe's favorite terror group'Turkey's Syria operation is clearing away terrorists'While Turkey takes great care to protect civilians, the YPG/PKK terror group pursues a completely opposite policy as it has targeted southern Turkish provinces with some 700 mortar rounds that killed 18 civilians, including an infant, according to Erdoğan.On claims that the operation was against the Kurdish population and targeted civilians, and would undermine the fight against Daesh terrorists and pave the way for destabilization, Erdoğan called these baseless arguments meant to protect YPG/PKK terrorists."Our goal is clear: it is to make terrorists leave the 32-km-long territory, and have the line from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border secured by us."West holds onto lies it crafted about YPG‘Civil-military ties complex in Muslim world’Foreign leaders' positionsOn EU countries' responses to the operation, Erdoğan said, "Except for Hungary, negative reactions have come from other EU countries. … They always surprise us. What they’re saying is unclear."Germany has a coalition government, Erdoğan pointed out, so Chancellor Angela Merkel is passing the buck on responding to the operation.Pushing back at France’s failure to recognize the Turkish Cypriot state, Erdoğan said: "French President Emmanuel Macron asked me [during a phone call], 'What do you say to the Turkish Cypriot president's remarks on the operation?’ I answered: 'How long have you known the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus]?'"US VP, top diplomat to visit Turkey for talksSchools suspended in north Syria amid PKK/YPG shellingMentioning his recent phone calls with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Donald Trump, Erdoğan said:"Yesterday, I told Trump, 'Sometimes you get very angry at the media. You’re under their influence and pressure. Don't mind it, you’re a strong leader. This doesn’t suit strong leaders'."Erdoğan added: "I will hold talks with [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani. When everyone across the world had forsaken Iran, I stood by them. The U.S. was again against them. … I will remind Rouhani about this."US trained SDF for possible Turkish operation: reportTurkey neutralizes 637 YPG/PKK terrorists in SyriaManbij and Syrian regimeErdoğan said the Bashar al-Assad regime's entrance into the Manbij province was not really negative for him, as the territory actually falls under Syrian sovereignty.But he added that the area must be rid of YPG/PKK terrorists and the local population is mostly made up of Arabs, and some of the Arab tribes urged Turkey to "save them."One Turkish soldier lost his life in Manbij following regime attacks, he said, and the Turkish army responded with heavy artillery fire that "made the regime pay."Video: Operation Peace Spring in northern SyriaAyn al-Arab and Turkish operationErdoğan accused the U.S.’ Obama administration of not being sincere in its policy in Ayn al-Arab, also known as Kobani.After 2014 Turkey welcomed some 300,000 irregular Kurdish migrants who fled their homes due to Daesh terrorism but Western media outlets never mentioned this and painted Turkey as murderers of the Kurdish people, he stressed.He added that Trump urged Turkey "not to hit" Ayn al-Arab and Turkey only engaged in a containment operation in the territory but it could intervene if developments take a different turn.He stressed that Ankara did not want to target Kurdish people or civilians but sought to secure Ayn al-Arab, adding the anti-terror operation would help promote a political solution process in Syria.Asked whether Ayn al-Arab was included in the safe zone plans, he responded: "Of course. Because it has a strategic importance due to its past. They [terrorist YPG/PKK] hit us from there."Sanctions on military equipment"Turkey is now a self-sufficient country," he said, adding the country is currently able to meet 70% of its needs through its own defense industry.Citing how Turkey purchased Russia's S-400 missile system after the U.S. refused to sell it its Patriot system, he said: "There is no more desperation...You can buy anything from anywhere."Erdoğan went on to slam the European countries that suspended arms exports to Turkey after Turkey launched its anti-terror op last week, saying that it already has other options.YPG/PKK's release of Daesh prisonersThe Turkish leader said he discussed the fate of Daesh prisoners held by the YPG/PKK over the phone with Trump and said Turkey could take responsibility for them, but the YPG/PKK immediately released Daesh prisoners.He added that Turkey could assume responsibility for Daesh terrorists imprisoned across northern Syria and might send foreign fighters back to their home countries.YPG/PKK hypocrisy"The terror group [YPG/PKK] that worked together with the U.S. until now is trying to reach an agreement with the [Syrian] regime. Western countries that call this terror group an ally should consider this," said Erdoğan.Before Oct. 6, the U.S. had allied with the YPG/PKK to fight Daesh, against Turkish objections that using one terrorist group to fight another made no sense."Who is your true ally?" Erdoğan asked Western countries. "Is it the YPG/PKK or Daesh? Now we can ask about Daesh as well," he said, as Western countries turned a blind eye to the YPG/PKK's release of Daesh terrorists.Erdoğan stressed that the Turkish army battled Daesh terrorists and over 3,000 of them were killed in the 2016 northern offensive in the Syrian town of al-Bab alone.Adana AgreementErdoğan stressed that Turkey's fight against terrorism in Syria is based on the 1998 Adana Agreement and that all NATO members should stand with Turkey in line with Article 5 of the NATO treaty, under which attacking one NATO member amounts to attacking them all.The Adana Agreement allows Turkish forces to conduct military operations in Syria.Most of Turkish opposition supports operationThe Republican People's Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and IYI Party (IP) -- all opposition parties with seats in parliament -- support the anti-terror operation against the YPG/PKK, said Erdoğan.He added that Defense Minister Hulusi Akar briefed all these parties on recent developments in the operation and thanked them for their solidarity.Erdoğan also said U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and a delegation are set to visit Turkey to discuss the latest developments in the operation."I hope tomorrow's talks bode well for us," he said, adding that Turkey is also in close touch with Russian officials.Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
PKK terrorists in the U.K. were found to operate as an organized criminal group, committing such crimes as drug and human trafficking.
Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration are known to openly support the PKK.
The PKK/PYD has an representative office in Greece and the Lavrion refugee camp southeastern Greece continues to be under PKK control.
The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Austria are also among the countries where the PKK is able to conduct activities with no serious repercussions.
Europe's tolerance, and at times support, towards the PKK is harshly criticized by Turkey, which accuses Europe of ignoring its security concerns.
Suicide car bombing in Afghanistan kills two soldiers
At least two soldiers were killed in an early morning suicide car bombing in eastern Afghanistan, an official confirmed on Wednesday.Assadullah Dawlatzai, spokesman for the Laghman Governor's Office, told Anadolu Agency the suicide car bombing was aimed at the district administration compound in the Alishang area.More than 20 people, including young students of a nearby religious school, were wounded in the attack, he added.There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.Located next to the capital Kabul in the east, Laghman has some pockets of Taliban militant presence.Over the last two months the tenacious spate of bloody violence in Afghanistan has claimed more than 3,000 lives on all sides, including the time around September's landmark presidential polls.Anadolu Agency's coverage in August and September indicated new highs in Taliban-claimed bombings and coordinated group assaults as well as aggressive air and ground operations by Afghan and U.S. forces amid the failure of peace talks.
Ankara accuses Europe of being insincere in counter-terrorism, due to its criticism of Turkey's fight against the PKK.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist groups there, to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Turkey neutralizes 637 YPG/PKK terrorists in Syria
As Turkey's anti-terror operation in northern Syria continues with great success, the number of "neutralized" YPG/PKK terrorists has climbed to 637, according to the country's National Defense Ministry.The announcement came via the ministry's official Twitter account.Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.Turkey has said the PKK and the YPG/PYD constitute the biggest threats to Syria’s future, jeopardizing the country’s territorial integrity and unitary structure.Turkey remands four trying to recruit children for PKKTurkey's anti-terror operation rightful: Experts