By Enes Kaplan and Merve Yildizalp
MALATYA, Turkey (AA) - Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Saturday said no regional or global issue could be resolved without Turkey.
"Turkey does not only protect its own law but also protects the oppressed, and victims. We are not indifferent to the crises and injustices anywhere in the world. That is is why no regional and global issue can be resolved without Turkey," Yildirim said during a provincial congress of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in the eastern province of Malatya.
Speaking about the ongoing operation in Syria's northwestern Afrin region, Yildirim said that the military was "very careful" to prevent civilians from being harmed.
"We are very careful that no civilian is harmed. Whoever tries to teach us not to harm civilians should first look at their own shameful history…," Yildirim said.
"We will continue to spoil the lies, tricks and dirty alliances of the PKK/PYD/YPG and Daesh. These bloody killers and organizations will not be able to ruin the future of our youth," he added.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.'The Turkish General Staff has said the Afrin operation is aimed at establishing security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as protecting Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
It said the operation was being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law.
The military also said "utmost care and sensitivity" was being shown to avoid harming civilians.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since July 2012 when the Bashar al-Assad regime left the city to the terror group without a fight.