By Fatma Esma Arslan
ANKARA (AA) - The efforts of PYD/YPG/PKK terrorist supporters to slander Turkey’s military operation in Afrin, Syria through social media continue to be exposed as photos taken years ago and showing completely different events.
One photo -- one of three recently exposed -- claimed to show “Turkish planes taken by the YPG in Afrin,” but actually was a March 16, 2015 shot of a Malaysian stunt plane.
Another photo shared on social media allegedly shows an "attack on a Turkish Armed Forces tank," but actually shows a tank on fire in Libya on March 19, 2011.
Finally, a photo claiming “Turkish soldiers held in Afrin” turned out to have been taken in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt in Turkey.
After the PKK terrorist group instructed its supporters to post fake images online in an attempt to tarnish Turkey's Afrin operation, some accounts posting such distortions were shut down after Anadolu Agency reporting.
Nonetheless, the misinformation campaign of the PYD/PKK terrorists and their supporters has continued online against the Turkish military and its Operation Olive Branch in Afrin.
Since the operation began on Jan. 20, a number of pictures shared by pro-PYD/PKK accounts on social media supposedly about the Afrin operation turned out to be old photos that were taken years earlier.
All the claims, including a winner of Anadolu Agency’s 2016 Istanbul Photo Awards, were false and the pictures were actually captured before the operation even began.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the aim of the Afrin operation is to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region, and protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The military has said the operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity.
It has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed, and "utmost importance" is being paid to not harming any civilians.
The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.