By Ahmed al-Masri and Gulsen Topcu
DOHA (AA) – Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that Turkey's counterterrorist operation in Syria’s Afrin region was motivated by legitimate security concerns.
“The launching of the Turkish military operation last Saturday was motivated by legitimate concerns related to its national security and the security of its borders, in addition to protecting Syria’s territorial integrity from the danger of secession,” Qatar’s official QNA news agency quoted ministry spokesperson Lulwah Rashid Al Khater as saying.
“Turkey, a NATO member, has always been a stabilizing factor in the region,” she said.
Al Khater added that Qatar is “fully confident of the Turkish Republic's keenness to preserve the safety of civilians and the unity of Syrian territory”.
Turkey on Saturday 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 Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council decisions, self-defense rights under the UN Charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military also said the "utmost importance" was being given to not harm any civilians.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.