Op in Syria aims to save Syrian people from oppression: Foreign Ministry
The main goal of Turkey’s “Operation Peace Spring,” launched on Oct. 9 in northern Syria, is to ensure the security of the border and to save the Syrian people from the oppression of terrorists, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Oct. 11.
“Turkey has no plans whatsoever to modify the demographic structure in the operation area. Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, the PYD/YPG terrorist organization has oppressed and intimidated the local population, the Syrian Kurds in particular, and forcibly displaced them,” read a statement published on the ministry’s website.
“The PYD/YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist organization also by the EU and NATO. During the planning and execution phases of the operation, only PYD/YPG elements and their hideouts, shelters, emplacements, weapons, vehicles and equipment are being targeted. All necessary measures are taken to prevent any harm to civilians and any damage to civilian infrastructure,” it also said.
The ministry pointed that the operation has been conducted in accordance with the right of self-defense under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter and resolutions of the U.N. Security Council in the fight against terrorism.
Turkey has fought against ISIL in Syria “more than any country and paid the heaviest price,” the statement said, adding that countries which refrain from repatriating their own citizens who are foreign terrorist fighters in the ranks of ISIL, “do not have the right to lecture Turkey.”
In the meantime, Hami Aksoy, spokesperson of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, condemned recent remarks by the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Syria.
Panos Moumtzis had related the safe zone to be established in northeast Syria with the Srebrenica genocide.
“The regional coordinator should be the best placed to know that Turkey hosts nearly four million Syrians and provides humanitarian aid to millions of people in this country,” Aksoy said.
Turkey made the utmost effort in order to prevent the Srebrenica genocide and this fact in no doubt is well-known by a U.N. official coming from this region. Turkish public opinion is highly sensitive on the Srebrenica genocide and thereby its abuse by a distorted mindset is utterly unacceptable,” he added.