Turkey will deliver Afrin to its true owners, says Erdoğan

Posted March 12, 2018

Turkish and Free Syrian Army forces have so far liberated 950 square kilometers (590 square miles) during the Turkish-led counter-terrorist operation in Syria's northwestern Afrin region, Turkey's president said on Sunday.

Demonstrators protesting against the "Olive Branch" operation against the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin were sprayed with pepper spray by the German police.

"The images of people celebrating the arrival of Turkish soldiers in Afrin says everything, although western media is trying to portray Turkey's presence in Afrin differently", Tasli added.

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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members not only show no support towards Turkey's Operation Olive Branch and would even openly oppose Ankara's actions in Syria, but did not have the guts to do so, Erdogan claimed. AP reported Erdogan accused the alliance of double standards.

"Hey NATO where are you?" Erdogan said in remarks to supporters in Bolu, a city east of Istanbul. "Are we not a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member?"

She added that Turkey helped Bosnia in its times of need and continues to support the country.

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Erdogan is referring to the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) vow that member states make to one another, known as Article 5: that an attack against any member state will be considered an attack against all member states, and will draw an immediate and mutual response.

Turkey has been complaining for years that the USA was too cozy with the Kurds, insisting the group are a "terrorist" organization. The YPG has been an important ally for the United States in the fight against Islamic State. The offensive against Kurdish militias in Syria's region of Afrin was launched late in January.

The Turkish leader also reiterated his earlier statements, that his only goal in Syria was the "fight against terrorism".

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However, it remains to be seen if the USA allows Turkey to continue with its offensive or intervenes to protect the force that is vital to maintaining control of huge swathes of ungoverned Syria.