Turkey denies targeting Kurds instead of IS in Syria

Turkey denies targeting Kurds instead of IS in Syria

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yidirim on Friday, August 26 denounced as a "bare-faced lie" suggestions in Western media that Ankara's military operation in Syria was singling out Kurdish people rather than jihadists, AFP reports.

"They either know nothing about the world, or else their job is to report a bare-faced lie," Yildirim snarled when asked to comment on claims the operation was not targeting Islamic State (IS) jihadists but Kurds.

He had been asked to respond to an article in German weekly Der Spiegel -- which frequently riles the Turkish authorities -- with the headline "Turkey's Syria operation -- IS is the pretext, the Kurds the target".

Yildirim said: "Our soldiers' mission is to ensure our border security and the life and property of our citizens. The news apart from that is just a lie."

"You tell lies that Turkey is weak in the fight against ISIS (IS) but when we save innocent lives from ISIS you go and write this," he fumed.

Ankara has said it will act in the operation against the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People's Protection Units (YPG) militia who it accuses of seeking to carve out an autonomous region in northern Syria.

Turkey regards the organisations as terror groups who represent neither the Kurdish nor the Syrian people. The YPG are allies of the United States in the fight against IS but Ankara argues this is a dangerous error.

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