Qa-5, 2 February 2018, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question Regarding Unfounded Allegations Published Recently By Certain Foreign Media Organs, Claiming That Civilians Are Being Targeted During Operation Olive Branch

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 02.02.2018

News which have nothing to do with reality and bearing characteristics of black propaganda, have been published recently by foreign media organs, alleging that civilians have been targeted during Operation Olive Branch and that civilian casualties have occurred.

During the planning and execution of the operation, terrorist organisations PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and elements of DEASH deployed in Afrin and their shelters, emplacement, weapons, vehicles and equipment have been targeted, and all necessary measures have been taken in order to ensure that the civilian population is not harmed.

In fact, PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG uses civilians as human shields, does not allow civilians to leave the region, recruits even children by force and brings them into the conflict area, and recruits DEASH members to fight on its side.

The terrorist organization is trying to present terrorists neutralised during the operation as innocent civilians. Since the beginning of the operation, the same terrorist organization led to the death of five Turkish citizens and injury of many others up to now as a result of its numerous rocket attacks targeting Hatay and Kilis provinces.

Contrary to the allegations, any ammunition prohibited by international law and agreements is strictly not used by the Turkish Armed Forces. Moreover, religious and cultural edifices, historical monuments, archaeological remains and public facilities located in the operation area have never been targeted since the beginning of the operation.

It is essential not to give any credit to the black propaganda of the terrorist organization and its supporters.

As it did show utmost care towards civilians when clearing DEASH terrorists from the region during Operation Euphrates Shield, Turkey shows the same sensitivity towards civilians also when clearing PYD/YPG terrorists from Afrin through Operation Olive Branch.

It is rather ironic that those who made no claims regarding civilians when the target was DEASH resort to such slanders when the target is PYD/YPG.

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