Qa-36, 5 May 2018, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question Regarding The Statement Of The Us State Department Spokesperson Claiming That The People Of Afrin Are Not Allowed To Return

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 05.05.2018

The Spokesperson of the US State Department, under the influence of the smear campaign of the PYD/YPG terrorist organization and by referring to unverified assumptions, has made an unfortunate statement about the Operation Olive Branch at the press briefing on 3 May.

First and foremost, it is the PYD/YPG that prevents local people from returning to Afrin. This terrorist organization tries to gather material for its black propaganda campaign against Turkey through such activities. On the other hand, it is a known fact that a large number of mines and improvised explosive devices planted by PYD/YPG in the city creates a security threat that complicates returns. In any case, Turkey continues its efforts for the normalisation of the situation in Afrin and the facilitation of the safe return of local people.

The claim that the humanitarian situation in Afrin is a source of “grave concern” is completely baseless. The main source of concern in northern Syria is that the countries we consider as our allies maintain their cooperation with PKK/PYD/YPG terrorists.

In fact, the Operation Olive Branch has shown how a counter-terrorism operation can be conducted without giving any harm to civilians. Furthermore, the addressee of the call for providing access for the international aid organizations to Afrin is not Turkey. As a matter of fact, Turkey already provides every assistance to the UN for its humanitarian convoys towards Afrin.

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