By Sarp Ozer
ANKARA (AA) - A picture of an injured child photo being circulated on some social media accounts is not linked to Turkey’s ongoing operation in Syria’s Afrin, according to a security source on Sunday.
Some pro-PKK social media accounts were sharing a picture of an injured child on Saturday night and Sunday, claiming it was taken during the Afrin operation.
The claim is completely false, which aims to mislead the public through a perception operation, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.
That picture was taken in 2016 and is not related to Turkish Armed Forces and Operation Olive Branch, the source added.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Saturday at 5 p.m.(1400GMT) in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region; the aim of the operation is to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to eliminate PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terror groups, and protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The operation is being conducted under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council’s decisions, especially no. 1624 (2005), 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014) and as per the self-defense right under 51st item of the UN charter, while being respectful to Syria’s territorial integrity.
The military also said only terrorist targets were being destroyed and “utmost importance” was being given to not harm any civilian.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.
The Turkish cities of Kilis and Hatay across the Syrian border are within the firing range of the PYD/PKK group from Afrin, which sits atop a hill. The terror group has also used Amanos Mountains to penetrate from Syria into Turkey.
The PYD/PKK depends on Afrin to connect to the Mediterranean from northwestern Syria.
The terrorist organization has also threatened gains made from Operations Euphrates Shield and Idlib de-escalation zone over Afrin.
A quarter of Syria land and 65 percent of Turkey-Syria border are currently under occupation of the terrorist organization.