The military offensive, dubbed ‘Operation Peace Spring’, was launched by Ankara earlier on Wednesday in a stated effort to clear a border zone of Daesh terrorists and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Hours after the launch of the offensive, the Turkish Defence Ministry tweeted several justifications for its ongoing military operation in the northern part of Syria.”We attach great importance not only to the security of our country and our nation, but also to the security of other religious and ethnic groups such as Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Christians and Yazidis living in the region”, the statement said.
The ministry also noted that Ankara “respects the territorial integrity of all our neighbors”, adding that Turkey will not allow “the creation of a corridor of terror within our 911-kilometer borders” or “accept the existence of terrorist organizations here”.
The Turkish military statement vowed to avoid collateral damage during the offensive.
“Civilians, innocent people, historical monuments, cultural and religious buildings and the environment are untouchable in Operation Peace Spring as it has been so far”, the statement asserted.
The defence ministry also published a video detailing a shelling of Kurdish positions, saying that Turkey had struck 181 targets since the beginning of its offensive.Following aerial and artillery attacks on military positions of the Kurdish militia on Wednesday, Turkish forces have launched another stage of their ‘Operation Peace Spring’ by advancing into northern territories of the country.
The European Union and many other countries have condemned the action.
An estimated 40 commanders of the SDF have been killed or injured as a result of attacks by the Turkish Air Force in border areas in northeast Syria earlier on Wednesday, an eyewitness said.
Turkey views Kurdish forces in Syria as an extension of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), which has been classified by Ankara as a terrorist organization. The People’s Protection Units (YPG) is the party’s armed wing. Kurdish fighters are the dominant group of the SDF.
Source: News Agencies