The Swedish state television channel SVT aired an interview with Salih Muslim, a prominent figure from PKK terrorist group’s Syrian offshoot, the YPG, as Turkish, Finnish and Swedish delegations met on Thursday regarding the two Nordic countries’ NATO bids.
The terrorist ringleader Muslim said the YPG/PYD trusts Sweden, in the interview conducted in northern Syria.
He continued by claiming that Sweden would never recognize the YPG as a terrorist group to gain NATO membership and would not respond positively to Turkey’s demands regarding the terrorists.
The terrorist leader declined to comment in response to a question asking if the YPG is affiliated with the PKK.
The footage obtained during the interview showed pictures and posters of PKK’s imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan.
Turkey echoed concerns about Swedish and Finnish countries’ support for terrorist groups during the meeting between Turkish officials on Wednesday.
Noting that the PKK, the YPG and the PYD are all the same terrorist group, Turkey conveyed its expectations on this matter to the delegations from Sweden and Finland, Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın told a news conference following the closed-door consultative meeting that lasted nearly five hours.
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO last week – a decision spurred by Russia’s war on Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24.
But Turkey, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to their membership bids, criticizing the Baltic states for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.
Turkish security forces discovered Swedish anti-tank weapons while carrying out a raid on a cave used by the PKK terrorists in northern Iraq within the scope of Operation Claw-Lock, a report said Wednesday, as Swedish officials denied providing assistance to the terrorists, which has become a stumbling block for the country’s NATO membership.
They discovered AT-4 anti-tank weapons built by Sweden’s Saab Bofors Dynamics Ammunition during the raids, TRT Haber reported.
Listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – of which Sweden and Finland are members – the PKK has waged an insurgency against Turkey since 1984.
Tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict.
Among other things, Ankara claimed that Sweden had decided to provide $376 million to support the PKK’s Syrian offshoot, the YPG, in 2023 and that it had provided military equipment to them, including anti-tank weapons and drones.