By Merve Aydogan
ANKARA (AA) - Turkish Armed Forces on Wednesday dismissed the "disinformation campaigns” against the recently launched Operation Olive Branch in Syria's northwestern region of Afrin.
According to a statement posted on its Twitter account, the military said only terrorists - not civilians and innocent people - are being targeted in Operation Olive Branch.
On Jan. 20, Turkey along with the Free Syrian Army launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
The military said the operation was launched to ensure security and stability along Turkish borders, to neutralize PKK / KCK / PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists in the Afrin region and to protect the friendly and brotherly people of that area from the oppression of these terrorist groups.
It also reasserted that the Operation Olive Branch "is being conducted within the framework of our own rights based on international law, UNSC Resolutions regarding the fight against terrorism particularly 1624 (2005), 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014) and Self-Defense Act specified in the Article 51 of the UN Charter, in full respect of Syria’s territorial integrity."
Referring to the fake claims on the Afrin operation especially on the social media, the military said: "Recently, there have been some deliberate news, comments and disinformation campaigns aiming to question the legitimacy of the operation. It is obvious that these efforts based on lies and slanders are being made by terrorist organizations and their supporters."
"The purpose of these attempts is to cast a shadow over the operation, which is being carried out on completely legitimate grounds in a transparent manner. These acts should totally be ignored."
The military reassured that only terror targets and their shelters, positions, weapons and equipment were being destroyed and the "utmost care and sensitivity" were being showed to not harm civilians and the environment.
"At the same time, religious, cultural, historical and archaeological sites as well as public facilities have not been chosen as targets by the Turkish Armed Forces since the very beginning of this operation…” it added.
All targets hit by the Turkish Armed Forces are being registered, said the military and said: "Napalm, chemical, biological and similar ammunition prohibited by international law and treaties is not being used by the Turkish Air Force and the Ground Fire Support Units at all. Also, such ammunition does not exist in our inventory."
Turkish military asserted that the Operation Olive Branch is being conducted “successfully” against all terrorist organizations including Daesh, on the basis of moral values and international law to ensure peace and stability in the region.