Turkey

Presidential aide: Turkey owes no explanation for Afrin

Ibrahim Kalin says any step to support PKK in Afrin will be considered terrorist act

21.02.2018
Presidential aide: Turkey owes no explanation for Afrin

By Baris Gundogan

ANKARA

Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Wednesday that Turkey does what is best for its national interest, as the country entered the second month of an ongoing operation in northwestern Syria.

During a media briefing in capital Ankara, Kalin dismissed opposition to the operation in Afrin.

He said: "Republic of Turkey does what is needed for its national interests and we owe no explanation [for Afrin].”

He denied making any official contact with the Syrian regime, adding: "But under extraordinary conditions our intelligence unit may contact [Syrian regime] to solve certain issues, directly or indirectly.”

He said any step to support PYD/PKK in Afrin will be counted as a terrorist act and those taking them will be a legitimate target.

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

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as 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 were being destroyed and that "utmost care" was being taken to not harm civilians.

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