Erdoğan: Operation in Syria targets terrorists, not Kurds
“It is clearly obvious that our operation targets not the Syrian people, or the Kurds there, but terrorists,” Erdoğan said at a news conference in Istanbul, giving the latest information on “Operation Peace Spring.”
Erdoğan said measures are being taken not to harm any civilians during the operation.
“Turkey’s military power is sufficient to crash the terrorist organization in a couple of days in all of the operation zone, if we did not act sensitively [on civilian casualties],” he said. “But we work as precise as a jeweler and show utmost efforts not to allow even one civilian’s nosebleed.”
Erdoğan noted that 18 civilians, most of them children, were killed in YPG attacks in Turkey’s border provinces, and 147 others were injured.
Turkey’s military and its ally, the Syrian National Army (SNA), will advance 30-35 kilometers into Syrian territory, and they have already seized control of the town of Ras al Ain, the president said.
Erdoğan said the Turkish-led forces had also besieged the Syrian border town of Tel Abyad, adding that two Turkish soldiers and 16 SNA members had been killed in the operation.
The president also said that threats of sanctions and arms embargoes by Western powers would not stop Turkey’s operation.
“After we launched our operation, we have faced threats like economic sanctions and embargoes on weapons sales. Those who think they can make Turkey turn back with these threats are gravely mistaken,” Erdoğan said.