Turkish envoy reaffirms Syria op in line with int'l law
NEW YORK-Anadolu Agency
Turkey's anti-terror operation in northern Syria is in line with international law, Ankara's envoy to the UN said on Oct. 25, calling for an investigation into any violation by any country for their military operation.
"Any violation of humanitarian law should be investigated and the perpetrators should be held accountable," Feridun Sinirlioğlu told the UN Security Council.
"Of course, it is true for every operation conducted by any country, including our American and other friends. It is true for operations not only in Syria, but everywhere."
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.
The move drew criticism from naysayers around the world, who claimed the Turkish military was conducting an "ethnic cleansing" of the Kurdish population in Syria's northeast.
"Turkey reserves the right of self-defense against terrorist elements that may have remained in the Operation Peace Spring area," said Sinirlioğlu.
Stating that Turkey's fight will always be in accordance with international law, the envoy said the operation only targeted terrorists and their hideouts, weapons and vehicles.
"We took all necessary measures to prevent any harm to civilians and damage to civilian infrastructure," he told the Council.
He also said the operation drew support from the Syrian people, tribal leaders and representatives of minorities, including the Christian communities.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, held a meeting on Oct. 22 in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi just hours before a pause in Turkey's operation in northeast Syria was set to expire.
Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which PKK/YPG terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Turkey's border with northern Syria within 150 hours and security forces from Turkey and Russia will conduct joint patrols there.