Turkish minister denies ceasefire with Kurdish forces

Turkey rejected claims Wednesday that a ceasefire had been reached between the country and Kurdish forces in northern Syria, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

A Kurdish-aligned military council in Jarabulus said Tuesday that Turkey agreed to a ceasefire with the People's Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

"It cannot be evaluated as if they [Turkey and PYD] were equal and there was an agreement between them," Anadolu reported Turkey's Europe Minister Omer Celik as saying.

Turkey, who launched an offensive in northern Syria last week, said its operations are directed against both Islamic State and the PYD, which it regards as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Kurdish rebels operating on its soil.

"PYD's activities in northern Syria benefit terror groups, not the Kurdish people," Celik told Anadolu.

Turkey has demanded that the Syrian Kurds withdraw to the east of the Euphrates river as it does not want to allow the Kurds to form a contiguous autonomous region on its border.

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