By Zafer Fatih Beyaz
ANKARA (AA) – Arrest warrants were issued on Friday for 17 individuals suspected of spreading terrorist group PKK/KCK propaganda on social media, according to a judicial source.
Prosecutors in the capital Ankara ordered the warrants, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.
The suspects are accused of spreading a call to take to the streets on the pretext of protesting Turkey’s Olive Branch Operation in Syria, the source added.
A smear campaign against the Turkish military began soon after Turkey launched the military operation in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region.
The PYD/PKK terrorist group posted fake and distorted photographs on social media, falsely claiming that they were from Afrin.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove the PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorist threat from Afrin.
The Turkish General Staff has said the operation is aimed at establishing security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protecting Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.
It said the operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law.
The military also said "utmost care" is being taken to avoid collateral damage to civilians.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012, when the Bashar Assad regime left the city to the terror group without a fight.