Defense Ministry says Israeli PM's claims on Turkish army 'baseless'

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 25.12.2018 23:37
Updated 26.12.2018 13:08

The Turkish Defense Ministry stated Tuesday that the recent remarks of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu targeting Turkey's counterterrorism operations were "baseless and deluded."

In a statement, the ministry rejected Netanyahu's slander of the Turkish army stressing that it was "an attempt of distraction amid corruption accusations and political problems in his own country."

"There has never been any embarrassing case in the missions and operations carried out during the glorious history of the Turkish Armed Forces," the ministry underlined, adding that "those with the blood of Palestinian children on their hands cannot slander the Turkish army."

The statement came after Netanyahu attacked President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Twitter on Sunday over Turkey's counterterror operation and Cyprus stance.

The ministry underscored that in its various operations, including Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch, the Turkish army has always upheld protecting civilians, and cultural and historical landmarks. It stressed that in order to compare Turkey's operations with other operations, "we can look at the pictures of Afrin and al-Bab."

Previously, local media reports said the Israeli State Prosecutor's Office recommended the indictment of Netanyahu for alleged bribery in two separate corruption cases. Netanyahu will also likely be charged for breach of trust in a third corruption probe.

In response to Netanyahu's tweets, Erdoğan said on Dec. 23 that Netanyahu was the "voice of oppressors" and used state-sponsored terrorism.

"Unhappy with us for helping Palestinian victims, the Israeli prime minister attacked with vile insults and slander. Netanyahu accuses us of invasion in Cyprus. I think what he said was a slip of the tongue. He was going to supposed to say they were themselves invaders in Palestine," Erdoğan said.

In the face of its ongoing practices violating international law, Turkey has been strongly criticizing Israel and calling on the international community to take action to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people.

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