UN cease-fire in Syria not to affect Turkey's Afrin op.

Turkish deputy PM Bozdag says Operation Olive Branch to drive out terrorists in northwestern Syria will continue as planned

UN cease-fire in Syria not to affect Turkey's Afrin op.

By Sercan Kucuksahin and Serhat Zafer 

YOZGAT, Turkey

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag on Sunday said the UN Security Council's cease-fire decision in Syria would have no effect on Turkey's ongoing military operation in Afrin.

"When we look at the UN Security Council resolution, we see that fight against terror organizations is outside its scope. Therefore, it will not affect Turkey's ongoing operation," Bozdag told reporters in central Yozgat province.

Turkey on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.

According to Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

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.

The UN Security Council on Saturday adopted a resolution calling for a 30-day cease-fire in Syria to allow for humanitarian aid deliveries.

The cease-fire decision came as regime forces intensified attacks on Eastern Ghouta, a Damascus suburb, in recent days, killing 389 people in the past six days, according to the White Helmets.

Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity. According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.

Bozdag also commented on the former co-leader of PYD/PKK terrorist group Salih Muslum, who was arrested in Czech capital Prague earlier on Sunday, saying the Foreign, Interior and Justice Ministries had initiated his extradition process.

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