Qatar’s defense minister on Wednesday defended Turkey’s anti-terror campaign in northern Syria, saying the operation does not amount to “a crime”.
“Turkey’s attempt to protect itself from terrorists was not a crime,” Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah told the Global Security Forum meeting in Doha on Wednesday.
He accused several parties of seeking to harm Turkey, but without naming them.
“Turkey is hosting 4 million refugees and if Turkey had wanted to act badly, it would have flooded Europe with refugees,” he said.
Turkey on Oct. 9 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.
Al-Attiyah hailed the behavior of the Turkish forces during the anti-terror operation in Syria.
“Turkey always underlines the integrity of Syrian territory, and what Turkey is doing to maintain Syria’s territorial integrity was not done by the Arab League,” he said.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River 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.
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