By Nilay Kar Onum
Turkey will soon be with the people who are seeking its support along the Syrian border, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.
Speaking at the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s ordinary provincial congress in Black Sea province of Samsun, Erdogan said: “We will not stop until we rescue our brothers in Syria and completely eliminate the trap that has been set for our country.”
He also rejected the claims that Turkey was invading Syria through its Afrin operation.
“Nobody can say ‘Turkish army and Turkey are carrying out an invasion of Syria’.”
Erdogan vowed to protect the people of Afrin, saying civilians were starting to return to Afrin.
Later in Ordu province, Erdogan said 3,740 terrorists had been "neutralized" since the start of Operation Olive Branch.
Syria’s Afrin region has been taken under “complete” control, the Turkish military said on Saturday. In a statement, the army said efforts are in progress to help civilians return home in a secure way.
Turkish troops have also been continuing efforts to search and destroy hand-made explosives and mines planted by the terrorists in Afrin.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats from the region.
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 also said only terror targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken to not harm civilians.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.