By Fatma Esma Arslan
ANKARA (AA) – Continuing its smear campaign, supporters of the PYD/PKK terror group have misrepresented more old photos posted on social media as if they came from the Turkish-led operation in northwestern Syria.
The terrorist supporters tried to portray children injured years ago in places far away as if they had been harmed by Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria.
PYD/PPK supporters posted a photo on a social media account showing Syrian regime soldiers in Hama, west-central Syria, as if it took place in Afrin, nearly 150 kilometers (93 miles) away.
A photo falsely labelled “Turkish Armed Forces are targeting children in Afrin” actually shows children injured by Assad regime attacks in Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of the capital, Damascus.
Another photo posted on social media falsely labelled “Turkish military targeted children again in Afrin” actually comes from a July 2014 story titled “Children injured by regime attacks.”
In yet another example, a photo purposely mislabeled “Stop Afrin genocide” shows an injured child who was actually injured in a July 2014 Israeli airstrike.
Another photo posted online falsely labelled “Turkish soldiers stole chicken” turns out to come again from Hama, Syria from a May 2014 story “Assad regime soldiers steal chickens.”
Amid Anadolu Agency reporting on this misinformation campaign, some of the accounts posting such fake news and images have been shut down.
The PKK terrorist group has given instructions to its supporters to post fake images online in an attempt to tarnish Turkey's ongoing Afrin operation.
As part of this smear campaign, last month pro-PKK terror group accounts even shared a photo which won the 2016 Anadolu Agency Istanbul Photo Awards as if it were recently shot in Afrin.
Disinformation about the Turkish military began soon after Turkey launched the operation, with supporters of the PYD/PKK terrorist organization posting fake and distorted photographs on social media and falsely claiming they were from Afrin.
All the claims were false and the pictures were actually taken long before Operation Olive Branch even began.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched the operation along with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
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 said.
The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and that "utmost care" is being put on avoiding harming civilians.