By Fatma Esma Arslan
ANKARA (AA) – The terrorist PYD/PKK has continued its smear campaign against the Turkish-led counter-terrorism operation in Syria through the use of crude photo manipulation and misrepresentation.
These are the latest examples of the terrorist group’s misinformation campaign against Operation Olive Branch, a cross-border operation into Syria designed to protect Turkey from terrorists and end terrorist oppression of Syrians.
In a key victory on Sunday, Turkish and Free Syria Army (FSA) forces liberated Mt. Bursaya, a peak the terrorists had used to launch mortar shell, artillery, and missile attacks on the border province of Kilis, Turkey as well as Azaz, Syria.
As part of its smear campaign, social media accounts linked to the terrorist PYD/PKK posted a photo showing the Turkish flag being raised on Mt. Bursaya, but with a Daesh terrorist flag superimposed.
The PYD/PKK has reportedly released Daesh prisoners on the condition that they fight against Turkish and Free Syrian Army forces.
Earlier, pro-PYD/PKK accounts posted another photo -- the winner of the 2016 Anadolu Agency Istanbul Photo Awards -- misrepresenting it as a recent picture from Afrin. In fact, the photo shows a child who was injured in Aleppo, Syria two years ago.
Another photo posted on Twitter claimed to show “Turkish soldiers taken hostage in Afrin," but was actually a March 2014 Anadolu Agency photo showing 20 soldiers who had been executed by the Daesh terror organization in Iraq.
This continued a pattern of pictures on pro-PYD/PKK social media accounts turning out to be photos from years ago and thousands of miles away.
The photos preceded Operation Olive Branch and are completely unrelated.
After Anadolu Agency reported on them, some of the accounts posting such fake news and images were shut down.
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin last week warned against misinformation being spread about the operation, saying: “We call on the public, especially the media, to guard against provocative news, images, and rumors which have false, sham, and distorted contents.”
On Jan. 20, the Turkish army launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin. Many Kurds who suffered from PYD/PKK oppression are serving in the Free Syria Army, Turkey’s ally in the operation.
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.