UPDATES WITH DETAILS OF FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT
By Gozde Bayar and Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey on Saturday strongly condemned Arab League’s chief for leveling allegations against the country’s ongoing Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria.
Hami Aksoy, the spokesman for Foreign Ministry, said in a statement that Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit becomes a partner in crimes of terrorists and he betrayed the Arab world by accusing Turkey.
“It is extremely disappointing to see that the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, a figure that is expected to be the voice of the Arab world and the Arab street, is supporting the perpetrators of crimes committed against Arabs in Syria and the terrorists aiming at dividing the ‘Arab homeland’, instead of defending the rights and law of Syrian Arabs,” said Aksoy.
In his remarks at the Arab League meeting in Cairo, Aboul-Gheit described the ongoing Turkish operation in northern Syria as a "military invasion."
The most significant victims of the PYD/YPG/PKK have been the Syrian Arabs as they were forcibly displaced by the terrorist organization east of the Euphrates, Aksoy stated.
Aksoy also said Aboul Gheit “is acting as an accomplice for the crimes committed by the terrorist organization and betraying the Arab world by accusing Turkey as an invader instead of the terrorist organization which compromises Syria’s territorial integrity.”
Turkish Communications Director Fahrettin Altun also condemned Gheit's remarks.
“I strongly condemn the Arab League for mischaracterizing Turkey’s counter-terrorism operation in northeastern Syria as an ‘invasion’ in a statement issued earlier today,” Altun said on Twitter.
Turkey on Wednesday launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.