By Ihsan Fakih
ISTANBUL (AA) – Journalists and media experts have criticized Arab media coverage of an ongoing Turkish military operation against the PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorist groups in Syria’s northern Afrin city.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Syrian media researcher Ahmed al-Hawwash said some Arab media outlets misrepresent developments in Operation Olive Branch as if the Turkish Armed Forces launched the operation not against terror groups but on Kurds in Syria in general.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
"The main objective of Operation Olive Branch is to prevent the establishment of a terrorist formation and Syria from being divided,” he said, denying claims that Turkey has territorial designs in northern Syria.
"It is not surprising that such false news is fabricated as most of the media is controlled by few global media organs who sell information or interfere with the words used in the stories," he said, underlining that Turkey seeks to secure Syria's territorial integrity.
The Syrian researcher said that only a few TV channels such as Al Jazeera follow professional work ethics, while most of the TV/media outlets took a negative attitude towards the operation to serve their sponsors.
- Pathetic coverage
Saudi journalist Gamal Khashiqji described Arab media coverage of the Turkish operation as "pathetic".
Dismissing claims that the Turkish forces used internationally banned weapons as alleged by Arab media, he criticized Arab outlets for using terrorist-linked media outlets as a source.
"Claiming that Turkish Air Forces use napalm bombs and chemical missiles damages professional journalism," he said.
Nizar al-Harbawi, a journalist, said coverage of the Turkish operation showed how Arab media lacks a methodology and strategic vision in general.
Ahmed Zeydan, a Syrian journalist, said some media outlets linked to Arab states imposing a blockade on Qatar fail to mention that terror groups seek to change the ethnic makeup of Syria’s Arab regions, or crimes committed by these groups.
"Most Arab media outlets don't use reporters on the ground as a source and their guests are particularly chosen to show that the operation will fail,” he said.
Nizar al-Samerrai, a political media researcher, said Operation Olive Branch not only protected Turkey’s national security interests but also Arab national security.