Erdogan says Russia-backed Syrian offensive aims to forge Kurdish militia corridor | Reuters

ISTANBUL Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday Russia and the Syrian government's "brutal operation" in northern Syria, where their forces have advanced towards the Turkish border, was aimed at creating a corridor for Kurdish militia fighters.

Erdogan condemned criticism from Turkey's allies for its shelling of the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria, saying the group and its PYD political wing were a creation of President Bashar al-Assad's administration.

"Right now Russia’s brutal operation, along with the Syrian regime targeting civilians, is underway. Such attacks ... aim to form a belt for the PYD and the ground element of that is being handled by the YPG," Erdogan said.

"I would like to address our Western allies once again: the YPG and PYD are terrorist organisations and those who have helped them form such structures will not be forgiven by history," he told a news conference in Ankara.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by Nick Tattersall)

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Published Date: Feb 17, 2016 01:46 AM | Updated Date: Feb 17, 2016 01:46 AM

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