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Turkey blames Syria’s YPG group for Ankara blast

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Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has blamed Syria’s PKK-linked YPG group for a blast in the capital, Ankara, that killed at least 28 people.

The Turkish leader used the speech on Thursday to call on the country’s allies to pick a side.

Davutoglu blamed the suicide attack on a Syrian Kurd with links to the YPG, adding nine others linked to the attack were arrested after the bombing.

The Turkish prime minister called on the US and other allies to end co-operation with the YPG in Syria and list it as a terrorist group.

“We cannot continue to accept these dual standards. We are looking forward to a uniform stance against them [YPG],” Davutoglu said.

“We call on all the countries to take a clear stance against those terrorist organisations…either stand by the side of Turkey as a state or take side with terrorists.”

Speaking shortly after Davutoglu, Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said his country would reveal evidence proving the YPG’s involvement in the attack, adding: “Those who support them will be judged by history.”

Turkish jets carried out air strikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq shortly after the attack, killing 70 of its members, the Turkish leader said.

The YPG denied its members carried out the attack in a statement issued on Thursday.

“Despite all the provocations and attacks by the Turkish army on the border of Rojava [Syrian Kurdish area] we have not responded and acted in a historic responsible manner,” the statement said.

“We have conducted no military attack and the ones who know it the best are the Turkish army and AKP government.”

Turkey considers the YPG an off-shoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is fighting Turkish security forces in the country’s Kurdish areas.

Mehmet Celik of the Daily Sabah newspaper told Al Jazeera the attacks would increase support for Turkish military intervention in Syria, adding that any action would extend beyond fighting the YPG.

“The ground operations will be against all terror groups, will support the moderate opposition and secure humanitarian aid,” Celik said, adding that any action would not be taken by Turkey alone.

“It will not be unilateral and Turkey is pushing for it to be done in a coalition.”

Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, reporting from Ankara, said the Turkish government would most likely launch more air strikes and attacks against the PKK and YPG in Syria and Iraq.

“The Turkish population, regardless of how polarised it is on domestic issues, on the Kurdish issue they are united…that the Kurdish groups fighting Turkey should be dealt with with force,” Elshayyal said.

Turkey is concerned that the YPG is trying to create an autonomous region in northern Syria on its southern border.

Davutoglu also accused the YPG of being in league with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and fighting the Syrian opposition groups that Turkey backs.

The country has previously experienced attacks by the PKK and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group.

[Source: Al-Jazeera]
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