Turkey called on international media outlets Monday to stop publishing manipulative reports on the country’s military operation in northeastern Syria.
Sadik Arslan, the permanent representative of Turkey to the UN’s Geneva office, hosted journalists from international news outlets to inform them regarding Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring.
Arslan expressed his discomfort about the international media publishing manipulative and one-sided news about the operation.
He said YPG/PKK terrorists targeted civilians and journalists on the Turkish side of the border with mortars and using snipers, but foreign media journalists located there failed to report properly that these terrorists were the ones who conducted the attacks.
Arslan said the YPG/PKK has conducted hundreds of attacks against residential areas in Turkey since the start of the operation and 18 civilians have been killed, including a nine-month-old baby.
He also criticized reports which claimed that Turkey is fighting against the Kurds.
Turkey has the largest Kurdish population in the world, Arslan said, adding the country does not have any problems with the Kurds and the operation is only being conducted against the YPG/PKK terrorists.
He said Turkey had opened its doors to Kurds from Syria’s northern city of Ayn al-Arab (Kobani) in 2014 when it was besieged by Daesh.
Around 200,000 people, mostly Syrian Kurds, had fled to Turkey then while the siege was ongoing.
Arslan said Turkey was also the only country to welcome hundreds of thousands of Kurds from northern Iraq when Iraq’s former leader Saddam Hussein attacked them with chemical weapons.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist groups there to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
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.
*Writing by Fatih Hafiz Mehmet in Ankara
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