MHP will fully support Afrin operation until very end, chairman says


The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) continues to fully support Operation Olive Branch and will firmly stand behind the Turkish military until the very end, Chairman Devlet Bahçeli said.

Addressing the parliamentary group meeting yesterday, MHP Chairman Bahçeli said the PKK-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG), receive support from foreign countries to an "outrageous" extent.

"We see that the scope of the support that the PYD/PKK receives from foreign powers is outrageous. Instead of directly clashing, the PYD is in preparations for so-called urban warfare by locating its terrorists in the center of Afrin," Bahçeli said, adding that the MHP will fully support Operation Olive Branch against the terrorist group until the very end.

Stressing that the counterterrorism operations in the Afrin region have a direction, and it is a must to closely follow it, Bahçeli also said Turkey cannot preserve its national security by bowing down to terrorists.

Focusing on the recent YPG attacks targeting Turkish forces in rural Afrin, Bahçeli questioned how the terrorist group acquired such sophisticated anti-tank missiles. "Which countries are giving missiles to terrorists? … Every weapon given to terrorist groups is directed at Turkey. It's an undeniable fact that Turkey, not Daesh, is in the crosshairs when the PKK is supplied with weapons," he added.

"Where is NATO, [and] why is it keeping silent?" the MHP chairman further questioned.

Operation Olive Branch was launched on Jan. 20 against the YPG presence in and around Afrin. The Turkish government considers the group's presence in the area an existential threat to national security. Since the beginning of the operation, the YPG has attacked civilians in Turkish provinces along the border dozens of time.

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