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News of civilians killed fake, claims Turkish ambassador

Oct 17. 2019
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By THE NATION

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"Despite allegations, Turkey's operation's sole targets are terrorist elements and to the contrary of the image that is being given by fabricated news and photos," Turkish Ambassador to Thailand Evren Dağdelen Akgün told the press on Thursday (October 17).

She was speaking to the press in relation to Turkey’s controversial Operation Peace Spring, which prompted US sanctions and global concern that the operation will lead to a new humanitarian crisis. 

The envoy insisted the operation aimed to secure Turkish borders, neutralise terrorists in the region and create a “safe zone” for Syrian refugees. 

“This operation is being conducted in line with international law and according to the right of self-defence under the United Nations charter’s Article 51 and the UN Security Council’s resolutions on the fight against terrorism,” she said. 

Turkey’s government considers the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), its offshoot Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Islamic State (IS) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SPF) as terrorist organisations. 

"PKK is on terrorist list of USA, EU and NATO", the ambassador added "The PYD/YPG presents itself to the world as the group that fought IS, but it  smuggles explosives to the PKK by digging tunnels into Turkish soil. We have found it sending IS prisoners toward Turkey to carry out attacks".

According to the her, only terrorists are being targeted in this operation, not civilians, including Kurds and Syrians. 

“Turkey is hosting about 4 million Syrians and 300,000 Syrian Kurds,” she said. “all necessary measures are taken to prevent any harm to civilians. Turkey’s fight is not against the Kurds, our fight is against the terrorists.” 

Recently, UK put licences for the export of weapons to Turkey on hold for fear the arms will be used in the Operation Peace Spring, while Russia has vowed to join Syrian forces. 

Meanwhile, international aid agencies are leaving Syria, while the United Nations has said the operation is heavily disrupting its supply of aid to northern Syria.

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