Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Vice Chairman Mevlüt Karakaya said Thursday that Turkey's operation in Afrin is legitimate and criticized U.S. policies, citing that the U.S. is in a term of weak diplomacy.
Referring to Turkey's operation and the U.S. position, Karakaya said: "Maybe for the first time we have been undergoing a period in which the U.S. remains weak in diplomacy while Turkey's hand is strengthened." Karakaya said that Turkey's position is clear despite the U.S.'s vague stance.
The ties between the two NATO allies have been strained as the U.S. refused to end its partnership with the PKK's Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party's (PYD) People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in Syria despite stern warnings from Ankara. Facing existential threats to its national security, Turkey launched an operation in Afrin to clear terrorist along its border. Ankara has been stressing that it is resolute in its fight against YGP terrorists and will move east following the finalization of the operation in Afrin, which is feared to further strain ties with the U.S.
"Turkey's priority is to manage this existential threat. Turkey will show that it is decisive on this issue," Karakaya said.
Since the beginning of the operation on Jan. 20, various strategic areas have been captured from the YPG. According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along the border and in the region, as well as to protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The operation is being conducted in line with Turkey's rights enshrined by international law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its right to self-defense under the U.N. Charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, the military has said.
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