Daily Sabah: Merkel's 'unfortunate statement' on Afrin operation unacceptable, Turkish MFA says22 March 2018 | 05:23 | FOCUS News Agency
The statement called on Turkey's allies to make effort for the establishment of permanent peace, security and stability in Syria, underlining the importance of close coordination and consultation. The ministry also warned its allies against giving credit to anti-Turkey disinformation and supporting terror groups.
Merkel condemned earlier on Wednesday Turkey's counter-terror operation in Syria's northwestern Afrin and criticized Russia for "just watching" the continuing attacks by Assad regime forces on eastern Ghouta.
Merkel called Turkey's Operation Olive Branch "unacceptable" despite its security interests. "I'm condemning this in the strongest terms," she said.
Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier discussed the counter-terror operation in Syria late Wednesday in a phone call.
During the call, both officials also reiterated their willingness to improve bilateral relations.
As part of Operation Olive Branch, launched Jan. 20 to clear the PKK's Syrian-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) and Daesh terrorists from the Afrin region, Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Sunday entered Afrin town center and liberated it from terrorists.
According to the Turkish General Staff, Operation Olive Branch aims 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, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the U.N. charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since July 2012, when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without a fight.
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