In its operation in northwestern Syria, Turkey wants to forge justice, not take land, Turkey’s president said on Wednesday.
Addressing local officials at the presidential complex, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that in the operation in Afrin, Syria, along Turkey's borders, the Turkish Armed forces backed by Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters are taking the region under control.
“Our concern is the establishment of justice, not land,” Erdoğan said.
Turkey will first destroy the terrorists and then, after Operation Olive Branch is concluded, enable 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey to return to their homes in safety, he added.
Turkey launched the operation last Saturday to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
The Turkish General Staff said the operation was aimed at establishing security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protecting Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
It said the operation was being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law.
The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed, and "utmost diligence" was being shown to avoid collateral damage to the civilian population.
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.
Turkish gov't to brief lawmakers on Syria military op
The government is set to inform lawmakers at the Turkish parliament next week about a military operation in northwestern Syria, a senior official from Turkey's ruling party, said Tuesday."On Tuesday, when the parliament is opened, a Cabinet minister on behalf of the government will brief our parliament on Operation Olive Branch," Bülent Turan, the Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary deputy group chairman, told reporters in the parliament.Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to remove the PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders.Significance of Operation Olive Branch summarized in five pointsThe Turkish military said it carried out the operation under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law and it was respectful of Syria's territorial integrity.The military also said the "utmost diligence" was shown to avoid collateral damage to the civilian population in the area.Galeri: Civilians return to liberated village in Afrin amid Operation Olive BranchAfrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.Iraq's Turkmen back Turkish military operation in SyriaTurkey respects Syrian territorial integrity: Senior MPThree more PYD/PKK lies about Afrin operation exposed
Turkey respects Syrian territorial integrity: Senior MP
Turkey is respectful of Syria’s territorial integrity, political unity, and national security while carrying out a military operation against terrorist groups in northwestern Syria, a senior Turkish lawmaker said Tuesday."The Operation Olive Branch is being carried out in full respect of Syria’s territorial integrity, political unity, and national security with the objective to eliminate the PYD/YPG/PKK/KCK and DEASH terrorists in Afrin as well as to free the brotherly people of Syria from cruelty and oppression," Volkan Bozkır, head of the Turkish parliament's foreign affairs committee, said.In a letter he wrote to his foreign counterparts, Bozkır said Turkish army targeted only terrorists' shelters, depots, weapons, vehicles, and equipment.The Turkish Armed Forces launched Operation Olive Branch on Saturday to remove all PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria."All necessary precautions have been taken to avoid any harm to civilians," said Bozkır, an Istanbul deputy of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.Bozkır stressed that the operation would end only when "its objective is accomplished as was the case in Operation Euphrates Shield.”Operation Euphrates Shield began in August 2016 and ended in late March 2017 to improve security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the terror threat along the Turkish border."Turkey has been obligated to undertake Operation Olive Branch to secure the lives and safety of the people of Syria," said Bozkır."We could no longer tolerate the creation of an entity in parts of Syria, which has no bearing with the history, culture, and realities of the region. Such a false act is also a serious threat for any prospects for peace, security, and stability in the whole region and beyond as much as it is for Turkey."Bozkır added that Turkey would continue to sustain its efforts to find an immediate political solution in Syria.The Turkish military has said the operation was 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, adding that "utmost care" was being shown not to harm any civilians.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.
Three more PYD/PKK lies about Afrin operation exposed
Supporters of the PYD/PKK terrorist organization on Tuesday continued to repost old photographs on social media as if they were recently shot in Syria’s Afrin.The PKK terror group has given instructions to its supporters to post fake images online in an attempt to tarnish Turkey's ongoing Afrin operation.Some accounts posting such fake news and images were shut down after Anadolu Agency did a story on them.Nonetheless, the black propaganda of PKK/PYD members and their supporters has continued online against the Turkish military and its Operation Olive Branch in Afrin.Three more photographs, which were supposedly taken during the ongoing operation, turned out to be old pictures that were taken during different incidents in the past.One picture shared on Twitter claimed "civilians are being targeted by Turkish army". It showed a child on a stretcher; however, it turned out the picture was taken on Aug. 29, 2017, in northern Syrian city of Mare during the U.S.-backed SDF/PKK attack.Another photo shared on social media allegedly shows the "taking down of a Turkish helicopter by PKK in Afrin". This picture is actually from Afghanistan, taken on March 16, 2012.Another picture shared on Twitter claimed it showed "destruction of five Turkish tanks"; however, the picture was from a PKK-backed website titled "YPG responds to Daesh with its improved anti-tank missiles" from July 13, 2014.In the last two days, seven other pictures shared by pro-PYD/PKK accounts on social media supposedly about Afrin operation turned out to be old photographs that were taken during different incidents in the past.All the claims were false and the pictures were actually captured before the Operation Olive Branch even began.According to the Turkish General Staff, the aim of the Afrin operation is to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region, and protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.Video: PYD/PKK terrorists use fake images on social mediaThe military has said 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 for Syria's territorial integrity.It has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost importance" is being given to not harm any civilians.The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.Turkey arrests 33 for PYD/PKK promotion on social media