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Turkey to not stop Afrin operation 'until it is over'

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President Erdogan says European parliament 'cannot say a word to Turkey' about ongoing Operation Olive Branch

Turkey will not halt its ongoing operation in northwestern Syria’s Afrin region until it is complete, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin.

Speaking at an award ceremony in capital Ankara, Erdogan said the European Parliament (EP) is expected to ask Turkey to stop the operation in Afrin.

But the president said all such efforts would be in vain.

"Do not desire in vain, we will not get out of there [Afrin] until our work is done."

The European Parliament has drafted a joint motion calling on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Syria's Afrin region. The motion is set to be voted on later Thursday.

“The European Parliament cannot say a word to Turkey [about the ongoing Operation Olive Branch],” he added.

A total of 3,525 terrorists have been "neutralized" since the start of Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, the president said.

Erdogan said it is "only a matter of time" before Afrin will be liberated.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to 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 also said only terror targets are being destroyed and that "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.

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