By Dilar Baykan
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey’s EU affairs minister on Thursday criticized the U.S. and some EU countries for sympathizing with terrorist organizations.
In a Twitter post, Omer Celik said some countries, who ask Turkey’s cooperation against terrorist organizations, support them when Turkey fights against those groups.
“The reactions against Operation Olive Branch show how far the double standards have spread in the fight against terrorism,” Celik added.
On Wednesday, Celik criticized French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s statement claiming that Turkey had targeted civilians in the operation and “violated international law.”
“Turkey's fight against terrorism is fully in line with international law. The ones who violate law and commit crimes are the ones who provide arms to the PYD/YPG,” Celik added, referring to the terrorist group that is the primary focus of the operation.
Over the past few years, Turkey's border provinces of Hatay and Kilis have been subject to over 700 attacks from Afrin.
Since Jan. 21 alone, rocket and mortar attacks launched by the PYD/PKK terrorist group in the Syrian enclave of Afrin have killed seven civilians and injured 113 in Hatay and Kilis.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Syria’s northwestern Afrin region.
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 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 said.
The military also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken to not harm any civilians.
The U.S. views the PYD/YPG/PKK as a "reliable partner" in its fight against Daesh and continues to provide it with arms and equipment against strong objections by Turkey, which has documented how it is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror group.
In its 30-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives, including those of women and children.