Erdogan, Qatar emir discuss Afrin operation, Syria

File Photo of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) meets with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (L) at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on January 15, 2018.

By Ilkay Guder,

Ankara: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani discussed in a phone conversation the recent developments in Syria amid the ongoing Turkish military operation in Afrin, according to a presidential source on Wednesday.

The leaders exchanged views on Operation Olive Branch launched on Saturday to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin region, according to a source who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Erdogan said the operation had become crucial for Turkey’s national security, and contributed to the political unity, and territorial integrity of Syria as well as regional peace.

The president underlined that all measures had been taken to ensure that no civilians were harmed in the operation.

Al-Thani, for his part, said Qatar supported Turkey’s fight against terrorism.

The two leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to develop bilateral relations.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

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

The military has also added that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and “utmost importance” is being given to not harm any civilians.

Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.



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