TURKEY

PYD/PKK supporters post mosque attack footage

In another example of terrorist group violence and pressure on Turkish Muslims abroad, a PYD/PKK-affiliated webpage has posted video footage of an attack early Friday on a mosque in southwestern Germany.

The Aksemsettin Mosque -- belonging to the Muslim-Turkish association Islamic Community National View (IGMG) -- in the town of Lauffen am Neckar was attacked at 02.00 a.m. (0100GMT) Friday.

Video footage of the attack was posted on the PKK-affiliated webpage Roja Civan, showing four people attacking the windows and doors of the mosque with Molotov cocktails while another attacker is breaking the windows with rocks.

The attackers later flee the scene.

Other PKK-propaganda posts were also found on the webpage, which says, "As long as the attack on Afrin continues, the resistance will grow daily," referring to the current Turkish-led counter-terrorism campaign in northwestern Syria.

Numerous mosques have been attacked by PYD/PKK supporters in several German cities since Jan. 20, when Operation Olive Branch began.

The PKK has been banned in Germany since 1993, but it remains active, with nearly 14,000 followers among the country's Kurdish immigrant population.

Turkey has long criticized Germany for not taking serious measures against the PKK, which uses the country as a platform for their fund-raising, recruitment, and propaganda activities.

Germany has a three million-strong Turkish community, many of whom are second- and third-generation German-born citizens of Turkish descent whose grandparents moved to the country during the 1960s.

According to the Turkish General Staff, Operation Olive Branch aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken to not harm civilians.

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