TURKEY

Declaring rights over Syrian oil is occupation: AK Party spox

Declaring property rights over Syrian oil is the real occupation, Turkey's ruling party spokesman said Saturday.

"Those who say that they will transfer the resources of the Syrian people to SDG are in favor of terrorism against the Syrian people," Ömer Çelik, a spokesman for the Justice and Development (AK) Party, said in a tweet.

He was referring to the U.S. which on Thursday said revenues from northeastern Syria's oil fields will be directed to the YPG/PKK-led SDF.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters that proceeds from the oil sales are not going to the U.S but the SDF, which Washington uses as a local ally against Daesh/ISIS in Syria.

The oil fields have been at the center of attention following U.S. President Donald Trump's withdrawal of American forces from northeastern Syria. Trump has since backpedaled on the full withdrawal he announced, acknowledging some troops will stay in the region "to secure the oil".

The Turkish official went on to say: "They claim unlawful rights over Syrian people's resources. And they say they will allow terrorist organization SDG to use these resources."

He said terrorist organizations have occupied the resources of the Syrian people.

"They sold resources, especially oil. This is done by all terrorist organizations like Daesh, PKK, YPG, PYD and SDG.

"All this shows that the most brutal and inhumane projects seen by the people of the Middle East have been constructed through the PKK / YPG / PYD / SDG. This structure is the enemy of all people," Çelik stated.

He reiterated that using a terrorist organization to fight Daesh defeats the spirit of fighting terrorism.

"This is the biggest threat facing democracies after the World War II."

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate the terrorist YPG/PKK from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.

The U.S. and Turkey on Oct. 17 came to an agreement to pause Turkey's anti-terror operation in northern Syria in order to allow the withdrawal of terrorist YPG/PKK forces from the planned safe zone, where Ankara wants to repatriate millions of Syrian refugees it is currently hosting.

On Oct. 22, Turkey and Russia reached another deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists would pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey's border with Syria, and security forces from Turkey and Russia would conduct 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 the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.

The YPG/PKK terror group uses the acronym SDG as a cover for receiving U.S. support.

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