Members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) “will be buried in the trenches it has dug” near Syria’s Manbij, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told lawmakers in the planning and budget commission at the parliament on November 1.
“The terror group [YPG/PKK] is digging ditches in Manbij as they have done in Afrin, despite promises made for PKK/PYD/YPG’s withdrawal from Manbij,” the defense minister stated according to the Turksih state-run media. “The terror group should know that it will be buried in the trenches it has dug.”
The defense minister added that Turkey will also continue its operations against the PKK in northern Iraq “until the terror threat from Iraqi territories is defeated”.
Ankara described both the YPG and the PKK as terrorist groups, the only difference between which is that they operate in different countries. The Turkish campaign in northern Iraq is mainly focused on destroying the PKK infrastructure with airstrikes. In Syria, Turkey employs a wide range of miltiary and diplomatic tools.
Earlier this year, Turkey and the U.S. reached a deal on the withdrawal of Kurdish armed groups from the town of Manbij. However, Ankara is not satisfied with its implementation and Turkish top officials coonstnatly threat the area with a military oepration. At the same time, Turkish forces are clashng with and carrying out strikes on YPG/PKK targets near Kobani.