President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated that in the counterterror operation, the utmost care is being taken to avoid harming civilians. He said that if they had not been careful in circumventing civilian casualties, the operation would have been over by now.
"All kinds of care are being taken. Right now, first civilians are being taken out of Afrin in vehicles through a special corridor," Erdoğan said during a weekly meeting with local headmen at the Presidential Complex in Ankara.
He noted that civilians are being led out of the city despite obstructions by YPG militants aiming to use them as human shields against Turkish air and artillery strikes.
Erdoğan's comments over civilians came after some countries claimed that they were not regarding civilians in the area.
Furthermore, the president said the aim of the cross-border operations in Syria and Iraq is only to eliminate terror elements from posing a threat to Turkey's national security.
"We will clear Afrin of terrorists, then Manbij and the east of the Euphrates River to our border with northern Iraq; we will rid the terrorists the same way in each of these places."