Turkey slams Germany’s remarks on Afrin operation
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
In a written statement, the Foreign Ministry said it finds the “unfortunate explanation” by Merkel at the German parliament on March 21 about the operation “unacceptable” and added that it “is based on disinformation” and “not even remotely close to reality.”
“Turkey is aiming to ensure its national security by using its right to self-defense and to hand over Afrin to its rightful owners [civilians] by liberating it from terrorists with ‘Operation Olive Branch,’” it said.
“‘Operation Olive Branch’ is a precedent in how to combat terrorism without harming any civilians,” the statement said.
The statement said information received from Afrin, which is regularly shared by Turkey with the public, show the dimensions and unfounded nature of the propaganda against the ongoing operation.
“In fact, there is no danger for the citizens of Afrin except the mines and explosives placed by YPG [People’s Protection Units],” it added.
The statement said that during the operation, these mines and explosives are being cleared to establish security and stability in the region.
“Whereas, we find it extremely odd for some of our allies to continue their tendency to look at events from the eyes of terrorist organizations,” it said.
“In close coordination and consultation with our country, we invite you to strive for the establishment of lasting peace, security and stability in Syria” instead of “falling to the position of countries supporting terrorism by lending credence to disinformation operations of terrorist organizations,” the statement said.
Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” on Jan. 20 to clear YPG militants from Afrin in northwestern Syria. On March 18, the Turkish armed forces and Syrian rebel allies declared full control over the city.