Turkish National Defense Ministry on Sunday said Daesh/ISIS terror group's existence today as a small group was due to its collaboration with YPG/PKK terrorists.
"Turkey carries out all necessary operations against ISIS and takes all necessary precautions against the terrorists within its territory and its borders, and in the operation areas of the Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch and Peace Spring [counter-terrorism operations] in Syria," the ministry said in a statement on Twitter.
"The main reason for the complication in the eastern Euphrates, and the continued existence of the ISIS terror group as a small faction is their collaboration with the PKK/YPG terror group and the support given to this terrorist organization," it added.
The ministry's statement noted that Turkey was the only NATO country to have fought the Daesh/ISIS terror group on the field, "neutralizing" over 3,000 of them during the country's Operation Euphrates Shield.
It also said the YPG/PKK terror group released Daesh/ISIS terrorists in Tal Abyad city of Syria following the start of Turkey's counter-terrorism campaign in the region, violating Turkey's Oct. 17 agreement with the U.S.
"ISIS and PKK/YPG terror groups serve the same purpose. By attacking Turkey as a NATO-member country, they, in reality, intend to inflict damage on NATO.
"For this reason, Turkey being the country to receive the most attacks from these organizations after Syria and Iraq explicitly expose the intentions of these two evil organizations," the statement concluded.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.
Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some two million refugees.
On Oct. 22, Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists would pull back 30 km (18.6 mi) south of Turkey's border with Syria, and security forces from Turkey and Russia would mount joint patrols there.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.
Source: Anadolu Agency