Turkey, World, Middle East

'No force can change' Afrin result: Turkish minister

National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli says those who back terrorists are terrorists themselves

'No force can change' Afrin result: Turkish minister

By Omer Ertugrul and Mustafa Yildiz


National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli on Thursday said no force could impede the result of Turkey’s ongoing fight against terrorism in Syria's Afrin.

Speaking at a ceremony in central Kayseri province, Canikli said Turkey remains determined to eradicate terror networks.

Over allegations that the Syrian regime was sending troops to support the YPG/PKK terror group, he said: “Syrian armed unit, which was allegedly sent to Afrin, does not have the capacity to change the result of our fight against terrorism at all...Those who back terror will be our target…Those who back terrorists are terrorists themselves. ”

He urged the world, especially Turkey’s allies, to stop their support for the terror groups and cut off their alliance with them, and take back all the arms and ammunition supplied to them.

He added: “Unless this is fulfilled, there is no other way to sort out this matter."

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

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 the "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.

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