President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that they received the biggest support for Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring from Syrian Kurds.
“Our operation is not targeting the Kurds,” Erdogan said in Istanbul.
He went on to say that Turkey will not allow the establishment of a terrorist state in northern Syria.
The ongoing military operation has killed 440 terrorists, injured 26 and captured 24, the president added.
“So far, there have been 652 mortar and rocket attacks on [Turkey’s] provinces of Sanliurfa, Mardin, Sirnak and Gaziantep fired by the YPG/PKK terrorists,” Erdogan said.
He noted that 18 civilians — most of them children — were martyred in PKK attacks on Turkey’s border provinces and 147 people were injured.
Turkey on Wednesday launched Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria to secure its borders by eliminating terrorists there and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear the region east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.