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Turkey Vows To Respond To PYD/PKK in Afrin

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Turkish military to respond to any kind of harassment fire from Syrian's Afrin region, deputy premier says

Turkey would respond to any kind of harassment fire from PKK/PYD-held northwestern Afrin region of Syria, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Thursday.

Kurtulmus’s comment came as Turkey deployed military troops to the border line near Afrin region last week. He said that his country "will never be a spectator to the acts of terrorist groups" just beyond its borders.

"Whether it is Daesh or PYD/YPG or any other organization, it does not matter to us," he said while answering the queries of reporters at Adiyaman airport.

Turkey's position is "clear" against any terrorist formation in northern Syria, the deputy prime minister said.

"Detaching Daesh from certain places while bringing in other terrorist organizations will no way benefit Syria's future," he added.

U.S. is supporting the formation of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against Daesh in Syria while it has soured relations with Ankara due to the prominent role the PYD/PKK plays in the group.

"This is not a sustainable way for the U.S.," Kurtulmus said, adding that supporting terror groups against other terror groups, like Daesh, could not be an option.

"We side with the territorial integrity of Syria," he added.

Turkey considers the PYD/YPG to be the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization in Turkey, the U.S. and EU.

However, the U.S. views the PYD/PKK as its ally in the fight against Daesh in northern Syria.

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