By Yusuf Hatip
BRUSSELS (AA) - Thousands of Turks from across Europe are expected to attend a rally in Belgium's capital Brussels on Sunday, which is being held to express solidarity with Turkey’s ongoing Afrin operation.
The Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD) will stage the solidarity rally at Schuman Square, according to Basir Hamarat from the union’s Belgium office.
Hamarat said the objective of the rally was to demonstrate support of Turks living in Europe.
“If Belgium was surrounded by terror groups how would it react? Terror groups have encircled Turkey and we believe the ongoing operation is the right response.”
The rally will be attended by the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Deputy Chairman, Mehdi Eker, and Zafer Sirakaya, the head of the union.
The rally is set to start Sunday afternoon.
Since the launch of the operation on Jan. 20, the Turkish military and the FSA liberated 97 targets -- including one district center -- plus 69 villages, 20 strategic mountains and hills, and one YPG/PKK-Daesh base.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK-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 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 resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.