Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Turkey blasts US statement on Afrin "operation"/invasion/looting

 Afrin "operation"/invasion/looting
Turkey has slammed comments from senior U.S. officials that its military operation into Afrin helped the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to rebuild in parts of Syria, accusing its NATO ally of “not fully understanding” the objectives of the operation.

“The latest statement reveals that the U.S. still cannot or does not want to comprehend the reason, purpose and nature of Operation Olive Branch,” Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bekir Bozdağ said through his Twitter account on March 20.

He rejected the U.S. claims that the Turkey’s operation against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the northern Syrian district of Afrin negatively affected the ongoing struggle against ISIL, describing the accusations as “groundless and false."

His remarks came after statements by U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert and Pentagon spokesman Rob Manning over the implications of the Afrin operation on the anti-ISIL fight.

“We are very concerned about the effect fighting there has had on our defeat ISIS efforts and would like to see an end to the hostilities before [ISIL] has the opportunity to regroup in eastern Syria,” said Manning late on March 19.

The State Department went a step farther, saying ISIL has already begun to rebuild in places.

1 comment:

  1. Turkish officials say they will investigate all claims of looting going on in the Syrian city of Afrin, after reports of looting by Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters who seized the city a day earlier during “Operation of Olive Branch.”

    Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu vowed on March 20 that Turkey would “not allow looting in Afrin.”

    “We are sensitive to looting and inhumane treatment. We will not allow it in Afrin. The whole world knows that our security forces have not done any such thing anyway. But we do not expect the Free Syrian Army would do such a thing either. We also know them. If there is any complaint or demand there, we will examine it carefully,” Çavuşoğlu said in a press conference with Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on March 19 that Turkey would investigate all claims of looting by FSA fighters.

    “There might be some groups here and they may be involved in that kind of action. We take that very seriously and necessary measures will be taken to address that issue,” Kalın said in an interview with Al Jazeera English.

    “We have not bombarded the city. Our soldiers and FSA fighters have been very careful in avoiding civilian casualties. They have been very careful in not attacking any of the houses or historical sites,” he added.


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