By Tanju Ozkaya
ANKARA (AA) - PYD/PKK and its supporters are spreading rumors, lies and distorted images to overshadow success of Operation Olive Branch, experts said Monday.
Turkey launched an operation on Saturday in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region against PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists.
“The Operation Olive Branch was carried out with great care and the PYD/PKK and Daesh positions were professionally destroyed by the Turkish Air Forces,” security specialist retired Col. Ibrahim Keles told Anadolu Agency.
“Especially with the smart weapons used by our jets, targets are shot with precision with no damage to civilians,” Keles said.
"The terror organization PKK kept women and children in the frontline during the operations in Turkey, we didn't forget that. Yet our security forces gave the utmost attention not to harm civilians,” he added.
“The black propaganda of PYD/PKK continues on social media against the Turkish military and Operation Olive Branch. But all those claims are false and the pictures were actually captured before the operation began,” Keles said.
Middle East expert Ersan Ergur echoed the stance.
“People who claim civilians are being targeted are carrying forward a black propaganda, using distorted images and fake news. They are trying to prevent Operation Olive Branch from reaching the city center in Afrin,” he said.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along the Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The operation is being conducted under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council’s decisions, especially no. 1624 (2005), 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014) and as per the self-defense right under 51st item of the UN charter, while being respectful to Syria’s territorial integrity.
The Turkish military also said only terrorist targets were being destroyed and “utmost importance” was being given to not harm any civilian.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.