Bahoz Erdal, one of the PKK's top military leaders, confirmed Wednesday that they are giving support to the terrorist groups' affiliates in northern Syria, an issue long denied by Washington and the PKK.
Although the U.S. recognizes the PKK as a terrorist organization, it denies the group's connection with its Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG), despite reports suggesting otherwise and strong ideological and organizational links.
"I don't deny the party's [the PKK] role in Rojava. … People in the party's ranks helped create the YPG," he said in an interview with Saudi Okaz newspaper, which is close to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (also know as MBS).
Okaz, known for its anti-Turkey stance and MBS's mouthpiece, previously published controversial articles about the PKK. In an article in December, the newspaper's writer interviewed a senior figure from the PKK terror organization and termed him the group's so-called minister of foreign affairs. The journalist, Abdullah al-Ghadawi, reportedly attempted to interview Cemil Bayık, one of the PKK's leaders, but the group allowed an interview with Rıza Altun instead.
Erdal said in the article that they gave ammunition and military guidance to the YPG.
"We did not establish these troops, but we have been providing them with weapons and ammunition before and after the establishment of the YPG and later on assisted them in attacks, and we do not deny it," Erdal said.
"We still have a great influence in the region, considering that Abdullah Öcalan spent 20 years in Syria," he said, adding that there are members of the PKK who want to return to Syria to help the YPG.
He also threatened Turkey by stressing that next summer will be hot for the PKK's fight against Turkey. "We are fighting fierce battles against the Turkish army in the mountains of Qandil [northern Iraq], and this is what we are most concerned about now," said the top PKK figure.
Reminding that the PKK's main target is the Turkish army, said that the world should expect tensions to rise again in the coming days, hinting at Afrin.
As for the June 24 elections in Turkey, the PKK senior figure said "These elections are early, and we are following developments in Turkey closely...We respect and support the People's Democratic Party's (HDP) decision to run in the elections."
Bahoz Erdal joined the PKK while he was attending medical school in Syria. In 1992, he became the organization's district head for Şırnak. Erdal, who has planned a number of bloody attacks and is known for being pro-violence, was brought on as the head of the HPG in 2004. He founded the suicide bombing and assassination unit. Erdal has been a member of the HPG's military council since 2009. Sofi Nurettin took over for Erdal in 2009 as the HPG's commander.
Saudi Arabian officials met in May with top PKK figures to form a coalition with Arab forces, the Anadolu Agency (AA) reported last month. Three Saudi military consultants went to a village in the Ayn al-Arab district, also known as Kobani, to hold meetings with YPG terrorists.