By Sibel Ugurlu and Sorwar Alam
ANKARA (AA) - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday Turkey was not eyeing Syrian territories and clarified that the ongoing operation in Afrin would end as soon as its objective was met.
Speaking at an awards ceremony of the Ankara Chamber of Industry at the Bestepe National Congress and Culture Center in capital Ankara, Erdogan said: "Turkey has no design on the territories of another country.
"The operation in Afrin will end when its aims are fulfilled like the Operation Euphrates Shield."
The president said Operation Olive Branch was not aimed at Kurdish people but it was against terrorists in the region.
“It is very clear that we do not have any problem with our Kurdish citizens; it is also not a matter of a Kurdish corridor.
"The incident is a matter of destruction of the terrorist corridor.
“The main purpose of this operation is to contribute to the safety of life and property of Syrian people as well as the territorial integrity of Syria along with Turkey’s national security,” he said.
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 was being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council’s decisions, self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect to Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military also said "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.