"No one has the right to tell Turkey to 'fight this terror organization but don't fight that terror organization."
"Turkey is a sovereign state, it is a legitimate state. To suggest it is on a par with a terrorist organization and suggest there are talks between them, that a deal has been reached between them, this is unacceptable."
Turkey's EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik
"Turkish operations will continue] until terror organizations such as Daesh, the PKK and its Syrian arm, the YPG, cease to be threats for our citizens."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
"Operations will continue until all terrorist elements have been neutralized, until all threats to our borders, our lands and our citizens are completely over."
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim
When Islamic State was occupying and fighting the Syrian Kurds just over the border from Turkey in Kobane, and Turkish troops and mechanized war vehicles were stationed close enough to be able to view the action in living colour, Turkey refrained from aiding the Kurdish fighters, in effect aiding Islamic State by its non-involvement. Not surprising, given the fact that Turkey still hosts ISIL cells operating out of Turkey to conduct their business in Syria and Iraq, while Turkey gets on with the fiction that it has joined the fight against ISIL.
|Turkish tanks in Syria -- Al Jazeera|
It does so only reluctantly, with its major focus on Syrian Kurds as the enemy for its links with the PKK. But the YPG is allied with NATO and the United States, trained, armed and supported as the single most effective fighting force against Islamic State. Erdogan has vowed to complete Turkey's military operation within Syrian borders, disinterested in whatever Washington has to say about pulling back, let alone urging its NATO ally about refraining from targeting the YPG.
The Syria Democratic Forces, backed by the United States, is their attack focus, as much as the Sunni Syrian rebels are the focus of attacks, as purported 'terrorists' by the Syrian regime and by Russian air strikes with their own pretense at battling Islamic State. To Washington's concerns, Turkish officials insist Kurdish forces withdraw east of the Euphrates as the only way in which Turkey can be persuaded to refrain from targeting the Kurdish U.S. proxies.
Their advance, named "Euphrates Shield" has succeeded in dispersing both the Kurds and the Islamic State, clearing villages of loosely-named "terrorist entities", for the major purpose as far as the Turks are concerned, of clearing the border between Syria and Turkey of the presence of Kurds who have meant that corridor to represent an extension of their planned future state. Kurdish and Arab Syrian fighters used US coalition air strikes to help them drive ISIL fighters from Manbiji.
Now that the Turkish forces have marched into Syria, that is being undone. "After seizing control of the border town of Jarablus, the FSA fighters moved under Turkish air cover to control villages such as Amarna, Yousef Beq and Ain al-Baida within hours, But their main target is to take over Manbij. YPG fighters maintain a significant presence along that area with their local allies", reported Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, from Gaziantep on the Turkish side of the Syria-Turkey border.
Ankara, celebrating its clearing of border towns, referring to the Kurds as 'terrorists', exults in the numbers it claims to have killed. A situation alarming the United States which continues to call on Ankara to desist "We want to make clear that we find these clashes - in areas where ISIL is not located - unacceptable and a source of deep concern", said Brett McGurk, US special envoy for the fight against ISIL.