Erdogan says Turkey to continue military operation

Operation to go on until terror corridor - Manbij, Ayn al-Arab, Tell Abyad, Ras al-Ayn, Qamishli - is wiped out: President

Erdogan says Turkey to continue military operation

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Turkey-led military operation in Syria’s Afrin region will continue until the terror corridor through Manbij, Ayn al-Arab, Tell Abyad, Ras al-Ayn and Qamishli gets wiped out, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday.

Erdogan's remarks came after Turkish troops and Free Syrian Army fighters took control of Afrin town center early on Sunday.

Speaking at the Bestepe Culture and Congress Center in the presidential complex in capital Ankara, the president said: “The military operation will go on until the terror corridor through Manbij, Ayn al-Arab, Tell Abyad, Ras al-Ayn, Qamishli has been wiped out.”

Moreover, he said 3,622 terrorists had been "neutralized" since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria's Afrin.

Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

"We have eliminated most of the terror corridor in the region," Erdogan also said.

Erdogan also hinted at another operation against the PKK terror group in the Iraqi city of Sinjar.

“We can suddenly come over one night in Iraq's Sinjar and eliminate PKK terrorists there,” the president said.

In mid-2014, the PKK managed to establish a foothold in Sinjar on the pretext that it was “protecting” the local Ezidi community from the ISIL terrorist group.

Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats posed from the region.

On Sunday, Turkish-backed troops liberated the town of Afrin, which had been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since 2012.

According to the Turkish General Staff, Operation Olive Branch has aimed to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming any civilians.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Mart 2018, 17:59