Qa-8, 8 February 2018,statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Statement Made By The Minister Of Foreign Affairs Of France Claiming That Operation Olive Branch Constitutes A Violation Of The International Law By Turkey

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 08.02.2018

Clearing Afrin adjacent to our Syrian border from PYD/YPG and DEASH terrorist groups is a matter of national security for Turkey. The international community was informed of the rationale and the objectives of Operation Olive Branch, which is to ensure our border security, neutralize terrorists which threaten our national security and thus, save the friendly and the brotherly people of the region from the oppression and cruelty of these terrorists.

Nevertheless, we regret to observe unfortunate and groundless statements made by the French Foreign Minister regarding Operation Olive Branch.

It was repeatedly emphasized that all precautions have been taken to avoid harm to the civilian population during the conduct of the operation. Accordingly, there have been no civilian casualties in the operation area to date.

It was also repeatedly underlined to our interlocutors that the operation is conducted on the basis of the international law, in accordance with our right to self-defense as outlined in Article 51 of the UN Charter and the relevant Security Council resolutions regarding counterterrorism.

Contrary to the French Minister’s claims, the operation, which Turkey is conducting, prevents adding another war to war in Syria. We expect our allies to be able to see this fact.

Turkey does not covet other country’s lands. Turkey has never been a colonialist state in its history. Turkey is involved in Syria not to invade, but to combat terrorism. Turkey is in Afrin for the very same reason that the Global Coalition Against DEASH is in Syria. Our resolve to pursue our right to self-defense is firm.

We expect our allies to display solidarity with us in the fight against terrorists in Afrin and to refrain from steps and statements which could put them in a position supporting terrorist organizations.

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