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20.10.2019 12:20 News >> Turkey Condemns Amnesty's Claims On Its Anti-Terror Op

Turkey Condemns Amnesty's Claims On Its Anti-Terror Op

Amnesty International's ‘baseless claims’ part of 'smear campaign' against Turkey’s fight on terrorism, says foreign ministry.

By Zehra Nur Duz

Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned Sunday Amnesty International's report on Turkey's counter-terrorism operation in northern Syria.
"We completely reject the baseless claims in Amnesty International's report on the Operation Peace Spring," the ministry said in a written statement.
The ministry said that it considers these unfounded claims as part of a "smear campaign" against "our struggle with the terrorism threat that originates from Syria and targets our national security," the statement said.
The statement reiterated that Operation Peace Spring is a counter-terrorism operation against PYD/YPG terrorist organization which threatens Turkey's national security and Syria's territorial integrity through its separatist agenda.
"Only PYD/YPG elements and their shelters, positions, weapons, tools and equipment are targeted in the planning and implementation of the operation," it added.
The ministry stressed that all necessary precautions are taken to prevent damage to civilians and civilian infrastructure.
It also reminded that the Syrian National Army, which supports Turkey's anti-terror operation, has set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate cases of civilian casualties allegedly caused by its elements.
PYD/YPG's ties with the PKK, which is also considered a terrorist organization by the EU and NATO, crimes and violations committed by its elements have been repeatedly documented, it highlighted.
The statement called on Amnesty International to review these documents by independent international organizations, including itself.
The ministry's statement came after the Amnesty International's statement last week which claimed that Turkey carried out "violations" during its anti-terror operation into northeast Syria.
Previously, Amnesty International in its report on Oct. 13 said that YPG forces in northern Syria had committed war crimes during its battles with Daesh. The human rights body said that thousands of people had been deliberately forced to leave their homes and entire villages were razed to the ground by YPG fighters.
On Oct. 9, Turkey had launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.

On Oct. 17, Turkey agreed to pause its Operation Peace Spring for 120 hours to allow the withdrawal of terrorist YPG/PKK forces from the planned safe zone.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence also agreed on Turkey having 20 miles (32 kilometers) of safe zone south of the Turkish border in Syria.

Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG/PKK.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. -



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