Erdoğan discusses Afrin operation with MHP leader

Erdoğan discusses Afrin operation with MHP leader

ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Erdoğan discusses Afrin operation with MHP leader

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli discussed “Operation Olive Branch” over the phone on Jan. 21, a presidential source said.

Bahçeli called Erdoğan and expressed his support for the operation, which he termed as “very important,” according to the source, who spoke on conditions of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

Erdoğan, on his part, thanked Bahçeli for showing his empathy and said the operation would be conducted against the threat of terrorism in compliance with international law.

The president said the operation would ensure Turkey’s national security and would also contribute to regional peace.

Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 22 to remove the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist groups from Afrin.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, decisions by the United Nations Security Council, self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect to Syria’s territorial integrity, the Turkish General Staff said.

The military also said only terrorist targets were being destroyed and the “utmost importance” had been given not to harm any civilian.