U.S. authorities still cannot comprehend the reason, purpose
“Operation Olive Branch is a counterterrorism operation. The operation in no way targets civilians. On the contrary, it aims to rescue the civilian population from the oppression and tyranny of a terrorist organization, spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.
The ministry was responding to a question about a statement by U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert concerning the situation in Afrin.
Aksoy said Nauert’s statement “reveals that U.S. authorities still cannot or unfortunately do not want to comprehend the reason, purpose
It added that “all precautions have been taken to avoid harming civilians, and the civilian population has been provided with access to humanitarian aid”.
Aksoy also rejected the claim that the operation against terrorists in Afrin would endanger the fight against Daesh, saying it was “completely groundless”.
“The approach that actually undermines the fight against terrorism in Syria is the use of one terrorist organization against another and allowing this particular terrorist organization to create faits accomplis on the ground by pushing forward its separatist agenda and to make demographic changes,” the statement said.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats posed from the region.
On Sunday, Turkish-backed troops liberated the town of Afrin, which had been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since 2012.
According to the Turkish General Staff, Operation Olive Branch has aimed to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN Charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and that "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming any civilians.