The spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric said Monday that the PKK's Syrian offshoot the People's Protection Units (YPG) was blocking civilians from leaving northwestern Syria's Afrin.
Speaking at a press briefing, Durjarric touched upon the ongoing Syrian crisis and how far the U.N. was willing to take action regarding the right delivery of aid to those in need.
"What I can tell you that there's now been just over 5,000 people who have exited Afrin, but we understand that the local authorities are still blocking anyone from exiting the district," the U.N. spokesperson said implying the YPG/PKK terrorist groups as "local authorities."
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) shared the latest U.N. statement on its official Twitter account, accompanied with a screen grab of the briefing's verbatim transcript.
Operation Olive Branch was launched by Turkey on Jan. 20 to remove PKK/PYD/YPG/KCK and Daesh terrorists from Syria's Afrin region.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and in the region as well as to protect Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights within international law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its right to self-defense under the U.N. charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military also said, "utmost importance" is being placed on not harming any civilians.
The operation in Afrin – bordering Turkey's Hatay and Kilis provinces – was widely expected in the wake of Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, which cleared Daesh terrorists from Turkey's border between Aug. 24, 2016, and March 2017.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.