Turkish forces marching towards Afrin – P.M. Yıldırım
2019 will be a new milestone for Turkey, said Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, speaking at a woman’s congress held by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey’s Muğla province on Sunday:
"The AK Party stands for fraternity, the AK Party stands for respect for everyone's language, religion, sect and lifestyle,” said Yıldırım, adding, “AK women will be elected in 2019. 2019 will be a new milestone"
Yıldırım said, Turkish soldiers ''took over Rajo area and now marching towards to Afrin together with Free Syrian Army heroes.''
The Prime Minister also highlighted what he called Turkey’s “"most legitimate right" to fight against what it perceives as terrorism during the speech, "Wherever the threat directed against our country comes from, that place is a target for us.” he said.
Describing the aims of Turkey’s offensive in Syria’s north-western Afrin region he said, “We want peace in the region. We want brotherhood. We want tranquillity. We want to establish an environment of trust. That is what we are struggling for.”
He also said that Afrin would be handed back to “its rightful owners” following the conclusion of the offensive, which aims to gain control of an area of a Kurdish majority area of Syria that has been controlled by Kurdish militias since 2012.
"We are there to relieve the pain of our Syrian and Iraqi brothers," he added.
Turkey says the Afrin operation, which started on Jan. 20th, is justified under international law and respects Syrian territorial integrity.
However, Turkey has been under pressure to rein in the offensive following the passing of a United Nations resolution on Feb. 24th calling for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria. Turkey says the ceasefire does not cover its activities in Afrin.