US slammed for depicting PKK terrorism as ‘insurgency’
Turkey on Tuesday criticized the U.S. secretary of defense for depicting the PKK's terrorism as "active insurgency".
In a statement, Foreign Ministry's spokesman Hami Aksoy said the U.S. depiction of PKK terrorist activities is inappropriate.
"We believe, in his statement, the US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was referring to terrorist activities of PKK. However, this is not the appropriate term to put it," Aksoy said.
"PKK's activities targeting Turkey are clearly acts of terrorism. The United States also deems these acts as such and recognizes PKK as a terrorist organization," he added.
Turkish spokesperson also reiterated Turkey's commitment to fight against PKK terrorist organization, which is a threat to Turkey's national security.
On Monday, Mattis described Turkey as the only NATO ally which is facing an "active insurgency".
The PKK, a designated terror group by Turkey, the U.S. and EU, has waged a decades-long terror campaign in Turkey that has killed more than 40,000 victims.
Also, PYD/PKK, a Syrian offshoot of the PKK, has launched hundreds of rocket attacks, including dozens since last month, on Turkish side of the border, killing and injuring many civilians.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
The operation is being carried out against the PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorist groups in the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, and its self-defense rights under the UN charter.