Turkey's Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun slammed Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his remarks about Turkey's anti-terror operation in northern Syria Thursday.
Earlier Thursday, Netanyahu criticized Turkey's operation against the People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists on Twitter, saying Israel "strongly condemns the Turkish invasion of the Kurdish areas in Syria." Netanyahu also accused Turkey of "ethnic cleansing of the Kurds" in the area.
Altun responded to Netanyahu's claims, underlining that Turkey's aim is to "eliminate all terrorists in the area and help Syrians return home."
"The Syrian Kurds, including the 300,000 exiles in Turkey, are under Turkish protection," he said.
Altun blasted Netanyahu's comments as "Empty words of a disgraced politician looking at many years in prison on bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges."
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, the third in a series of cross-border anti-terror operations in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the PKK's Syrian offshoot YPG, on Oct. 9 at 4 p.m.
The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians return in the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists.
The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.
Since 2016, Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for nearly 400,000 Syrians who fled the violence to return home.