European Parliament's draft motion calling on Turkey to withdraw troops from Afrin 'lacks vision': Minister Celik
EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik has slammed the European Parliament’s draft motion calling on Turkey to stop its ongoing Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s Afrin region.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Celik said the proposed motion, which calls on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Afrin, “lacks vision” and reflects “an ignorant decision”.
He said the “shocking” move demonstrated that the European Parliament was not aware of the situation in Syria and could not evaluate the developments on the ground in the war-torn country.
Additionally, Celik drew attention to Turkey’s support for the Astana, Sochi and Geneva processes that aim to bring stability to Syria.
Earlier on Thursday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will not halt its ongoing operation in northwestern Syria’s Afrin region until it is complete.
"Do not desire in vain, we will not get out of there [Afrin] until our work is done," Erdogan said.
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.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
A total of 3,525 terrorists have been "neutralized" since the start of the operation in Afrin, the president said.
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.