By Fatma Esma Arslan
ANKARA (AA) - In its continuing smear campaign against the Turkish-led counter-terrorist operation in northwestern Syria, the terrorist PYD/PKK is now misrepresenting photos of Syrian regime misdeeds to spread disinformation.
One photo posted on social media with the false label "Stop the massacre in Afrin" in fact originally accompanied a May 2016 news report -- years before the current operation -- on "Hundreds killed in Assad regime attack."
Another image went viral under the false tag "Turkish Armed Forces looting homes in Afrin villages,” but actually dates from December 2016, after the evacuation of eastern Aleppo, showing Assad regime forces and an Iranian-backed militia pillaging the homes of civilians forced to flee.
On Jan. 20, the Turkish army launched Operation Olive Branch to remove 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 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.
The military has said only terror targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.