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Turkey Says Czech Release of Former PYD Leader is 'Support for Terror'

Policemen escort Salih Muslim, former co-chair of the Democratic Union Party, or PYD, to a court room for a custody hearing in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018.

The Turkish government said Tuesday the release of the former leader of a Syrian Kurdish political party by a Czech court was "a clear support for terror."

Prague's Municipal Court decided Tuesday to release former Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party leader Salih Muslim despite Turkey's request for his extradition.

Turkey has accused the former PYD leader with disrupting the state and aggravated murder. He was detained in the Czech capital of Prague Saturday following a Turkish request for his arrest.

Turkey considers the PYD a terrorist group associated with outlawed Kurdish rebels fighting within the country's borders. Earlier this month, the Turkish government placed Muslim on its most-wanted list and announced a $1 million reward for his capture.

Turkish government spokesman Bekir Bozdag said the ruling violated international law and predicted it would adversely affect Turkish-Czech relations.

The PYD is the the most influential political Kurdish force in northern Syria and Muslim has maintained clout within the party, even after resigning as co-chair last year.

Turkey launched a military offensive into northern Syria in late January in an effort to push the People's Protection Units, or YPG, from the enclave of Afrin. The YPG is a U.S.-supported Syrian Kurdish militia group and the armed unit of the PYD.