UPDATE - Turkish, French presidents discuss Syria over phone

UPDATE - Turkish, French presidents discuss Syria over phone

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Emmanuel Macron exchange views on latest developments in war-torn country


By Enes Kaplan

ANKARA (AA) - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed Syria over the phone Tuesday, according to a Turkish presidential source.

Erdogan and Macron exchanged views on the latest developments in Syria and Turkey's Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.

According to the source, Erdogan said Turkey carried out this operation under international law and Article 51 of the UN Charter.

He added Ankara took all measures to prevent civilians from being harmed in the operation.

Erdogan and Macron agreed to have "close" contact regarding efforts to resolve the Syria crisis, the source added.

Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.

According to the military, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as 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, it said.

The military has also said it is putting "utmost importance" on not harming any civilians.

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.

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