The PKK terror group is much worse than Daesh and probably constitutes a bigger terrorist threat, U.S. President Donald Trump said late Wednesday during a press conference with Italian Premier Sergio Matarello.
VIDEO — Trump says PKK terrorists are "no angels," and Daesh respects them because they are "tougher" militantshttps://t.co/QVCzKvQxbW pic.twitter.com/bjHYmZJ6TX— DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) October 16, 2019
He then said the U.S. was making the People's Protection Units (YPG), the PKK's Syrian offshoot, "look like angels."
The remarks came amid Turkey's anti-terror operation against the PKK in Syria.
"Turkey and Syria will hopefully work it out between themselves," Trump said regarding the situation in Syria, adding: "President Erdoğan's decision (to launch an operation) didn't surprise me because he's wanted to do that for a long time."
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, the third in a series of cross-border anti-terror operations in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the PKK's Syrian offshoot the People's Protection Units (YPG), on October 9.
The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians return in the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists.
The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.