By Fatma Esma Arslan
ANKARA (AA) - The online smear campaign by PYD/PKK terrorists and their supporters against the Turkish military operation in Syria continues to be exposed with the emergence of more old photos misrepresented as being recent and relevant.
Three more photos supposedly taken during the ongoing operation in northwestern Syria’s Afrin region turned out to be old pictures of various past events.
One recently exposed photo is mislabeled as showing the “Turkish army using cluster-bombs in Afrin,” but in reality the picture accompanied a May 2016 news article titled “The US has stopped selling cluster bombs to the Saudis."
Another photo shared on Instagram with the caption "Turkish army targets children in Afrin" actually shows a civil defense official (a member of the White Helmets) carrying a baby who died in an airstrike in Aleppo in September 2016.
Finally, a photo which shows two injured children with the false caption, “Children targeted in Afrin” turns out to have been taken in August 2015 by Anadolu Agency during a vacuum bomb attack by the Assad regime in Eastern Ghouta.
The PYD/PKK supporters used the photo of the dead child and the Anadolu Agency picture taken in Eastern Ghouta to prop up the lies they are busy spreading on social media.
Pro-PYD/PKK accounts even tried to spread disinformation using a photo of a Turkish soldier carrying the Turkish flag, a picture taken last week by an Anadolu Agency photojournalist at the strategic Mt. Bursaya. This particular picture has come to symbolize the operation.
- Smear accounts shut down
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 being exposed by Anadolu Agency.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the aim of the Afrin operation is to establish security and stability along Turkey’s 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 care" is being shown to not harm any civilians.
The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the terrorist group PKK, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU alike.