Turkey says 2222 militants "neutralized" in military operation in Syria's Afrin

Howard TerryMar 03, 2018

"First of all, I am a citizen of Syria, I am not a citizen of Turkey, second thing, I am a politician".

He was detained in Prague over the weekend at the request of Ankara, which accuses him of aggravated murder and disrupting the Turkish state.

The United Nations Security Council, crucially including regime ally Russian Federation, has agreed a 30-day nationwide ceasefire in Syria although this has yet to be implemented or end the violence in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta.

When asked by reporters on Tuesday if Turkey is "violating the United Nations ceasefire" in Syria, US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said that she would "encourage Turkey to go back and read the United Nations resolution". "Terror chiefs can no longer wander about as they wish".

Turkey launched a military offensive into northern Syria in late January in an effort to push the People's Protection Units, or YPG, from the enclave of Afrin.

"The comments made by the U.S. State Department Spokesperson regarding the U.N. Security Council's resolution, saying Turkey should 'read it more closely, ' have no basis".

Turkey has stressed that the ceasefire is meant to give relief to civilian areas hit hard by Syrian government air raids, and has nothing to do with Turkey's "counterterrorism" operation in Afrin, northwestern Syria.

"Turkey is not one of the parties to the conflict in Syria", said Aksoy.

Since launching its operation in the northwest Syrian region, Turkey has captured 115 "strategic points" and 87 villages, Anadolu said.

It does not apply to military operations against Islamic State, al Qaeda and groups associated with them or other groups designated as terrorist organisations by the Security Council.

The French Presidential Office's statement published on February 26 had said: "The president of the Republic stressed that the humanitarian truce applied to all of Syria, including Afrin, and should be implemented everywhere and by all without any delay to stop the spiral of violence in progress".

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

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