The PKK terrorist organization has been getting hit hard in northern Syria's Afrin region by Operation Olive Branch conducted jointly by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA). It sees that stopping Turkey and the Syrian forces is impossible so they are resorting to an international smear campaign to secure international pressure on Turkey to halt the offensive.
They are trying to run a massive campaign of disinformation on social media and in Western capitals.
The most frequent accusation against Turkey and the FSA is that they are hurting civilians in the operation. That is a gross lie that needs to be addressed with facts.
Some circles in Turkey are complaining that Operation Olive Branch is going too slow. Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli recently told Turkish Parliament that Turkey's capabilities allow it to complete the operation in 15 days but the reason that the Turkish military and its Syrian allies are trying to avoid any civilian casualties is that they are taking painstaking measures to avoid harming the local people.
Of course the Turkish military could imitate the Americans and just bomb the areas held by the enemy off the map, but there would be heavy civilian losses. The U.S. has done this all over the world and afterward just turned their backs on claims of massacring civilians in cold blood.
Mosul is in shambles. Raqqa is in shambles. Civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq due to American "mistakes" are incredible.
Ironically, only a few months ago during the military operation against the city of Raqqa the Americans bombed several districts pointed out by terrorists belonging to the PKK and its affiliates, the so-called Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the People's Protection Units (YPG), and later it became apparent that the places bombed and completely destroyed were Arab civilian settlements and had nothing to do with Daesh. There was a heavy civilian death toll and all the Americans did was say "too bad." It also became apparent that the PKK had misled the Americans with the aim of clearing the Arabs and thus occupying these lands in a bid to create their own mini state.
When the PKK launched a mini rebellion in the cities and townships of southeastern Turkey between 2014 and 2015, Turkish security forces had to battle with the terrorists in the streets and even then the authorities did their best to keep civilian casualties at a minimum. Even in the fight against terrorists Turkey has taken extreme care not to hurt a single civilian. Turkish forces could have put down the limited rebellion by just bombing those districts off the map, yet the authorities were insistent that the fight should not harm the local people. Turkish security forces suffered casualties because of this but it still did not opt for the easy way out.
We cherish the Islamic ideals, "We love the created thanks to the Creator." Turkey has always shown respect to the "created" as they are our fellow human beings. The Syrian people in Afrin and elsewhere are our brothers and sisters and we will all ways live with them as neighbors so harming them in any way would be the last thing we want to do.
That is exactly why Turkey has opened its doors to 3,5 million Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war and the atrocities of the outside powers and in the past six years it has spent $30 billion to shelter them. Harming civilians is not in our play book.
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