Turkish army chief says Afrin op in line with intl law

The Turkish military chief on Sunday said Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, northwestern Syria is being carried out in line with international law and the principles of fighting terrorism.

“Operation Olive Branch, including its arms and the ammunition used, are in line with international law and counterterrorism principles,” Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar said during a visit to the southern Hatay province, near the Syrian border, to inspect troops taking part in the Afrin operation.

The Turkish army chief also said civilians, the environment, and historical sites in Afrin are never targeted, as the Turkish Armed Forces see them as untouchable.

“Only terrorists and their shelters, positions, arms, vehicles and materials are being targeted.”

Akar said all military and humanitarian activities in the region are being conducted so as to provide an example to other countries of the world.

The Turkish Army is currently busy defusing mines and explosives inside residential areas, Akar said, adding that all kinds of measures are being taken to help the war-battered Syrians return to their homes.

Akar was accompanied by Gen. Yasar Guler, head of the Turkish Land Forces, and Gen. Hasan Kucukakyuz, head of the Turkish Air Forces.

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