By Muslum Etgu
The Union of Syrian Turkmen and Arab Tribes on Tuesday voiced its pleasure over seeing Syria’s northwestern Afrin town center liberated from terrorists by the Turkish military and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
In a statement, the union congratulated both the Turkish Armed Forces and the FSA for their “historic successes” in pursuing Operation Olive Branch, which was launched in January with a mandate to clear the Turkey-Syria border region of terrorist elements.
The union also paid tribute to Turkish soldiers martyred during the operation while wishing a speedy recovery to those who were injured.
“Syrians welcome the liberation of Afrin,” the statement read. “Allah willing, efforts to purge the YPG/PKK from other regions will be met with similar success.”
“Allah willing, this vile terrorist group will be eliminated all the way from Syria to Qandil Mountain [a PKK stronghold located near the Iraq-Iran border],” it added.
“We bear no ill-will towards our Kurdish brothers, to whom our homes -- and hearts -- remain open,” the statement continued. “Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs want to live together as brothers under one flag.”
It concluded: “Syria belongs to the Syrian people. Allah bless the Turkish President -- and our leader in Islam -- Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his army.”
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 with a view to clearing terrorist groups from Syria’s northwestern Afrin district.
On Sunday, Turkish troops liberated Afrin, which since 2012 had served as a YPG/PKK stronghold.
According to the Turkish General Staff, Operation Olive Branch aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from the cruelty and oppression of terrorists.
The operation was conducted within the framework of international law, UN Security Council resolutions and respect for Syria's territorial integrity.
*Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this report from AnkaraAnadolu 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.