Turkey's fight against terrorist in Syria and Iraq provides security for the people of Turkey but as well as Europe, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said yesterday.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Bosnia-Herzegovina's chairman of the Council of Ministers, Denis Zvizdic, during his official visit to the country, referring to the country's Operation Olive Branch, Yıldırım said Turkey prevents terrorists and refugees from reaching Europe.
Operation Olive Branch was launched on Jan. 20 to clear the Syrian PKK affiliate People's Protection Units (YPG) from Afrin in northwestern Syria. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) entered the Afrin city center and liberated it from the YPG on March 18. Ankara plans for the operation to continue until Turkey's entire border with Syria is emptied of terrorists. According to the General Staff, Operation Olive Branch aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.
The areas liberated from the YPG will also be available for the safe return of refugees in Turkey, which will help decrease Turkey's refugee burden and lower crossings to Europe.
Thousands of Syrian refugees have already returned to towns in northern Syria that were liberated from Daesh terrorists, during Turkey's previous Operation Euphrates Shield which ran from Aug. 2016 to March 2017.
"The stability and security of the Balkans means the security of Europe, the security of the Middle East," Yıldırım said. He added that there is a great responsibility on the all the countries in the region to preserve peace and stability. "Thus, we are trying to develop friendly relations with all regional countries, notably Bosnia-Herzegovina," Yıldırım said.