Turkey rejects Syria operation limited to Afrin
MİDDLE EAST

Turkey rejects Syria operation limited to Afrin

Ankara reiterates call that PYD/PKK should not attend Syria National Dialogue Congress in Sochi

News Service AA

Turkey has rejected claims that the operation on the Syrian border will be limited to Afrin, Foreign Ministry sources said Monday.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said Turkey has never made such a commitment to Russia.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said last week, Turkey may expand its operations in northern Syria to Manbij city and east of the Euphrates River after Afrin has been cleared.

“Turkey’s precautions against YPG/PKK cannot be limited to only Afrin. There is also Manbij and east of the Euphrates River,” Cavusoglu said in Vancouver, Canada.

Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Syria's northwestern Afrin region.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council’s decisions, self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect to Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

The military also said the "utmost importance" was being given to not harm any civilian.

Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.

Also on Monday, Turkey reiterated its call that the terror group PYD/PKK should not attend Syria National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, the same sources said.

Sochi is the designated venue of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress set for Jan. 29-30. The congress is expected to be attended by all sectors of Syrian society except for terror groups.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.

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