Iran Calls on Turkey to Immediately End Olive Branch Operation
At least nine people, including six civilians were killed as a result of the Turkish airstrikes carried out on Saturday under the military operation in Syria's northwestern Afrin district, a source in Afrin's local authorities told Sputnik on Sunday.
"Because of the airstrikes six civilians, two young women from the Kurdish Women's Protection Units [YPJ] and one fighter of the People's Protection Units [YPG] were killed," the source said speaking about the victims killed on Saturday. The source added that 13 more people were injured in the airstrikes.
Meanwhile, the former co-chairman of Syria's Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) on Sunday called on everyone supporting the humanitarian values, as well as freedom to show solidarity with the people of the Syrian Afrin, where Ankara has launched a military operation.
"We are asking for the solidarity with Afrin, with the Afrin people, with the Kurdish people. We are defending the humanitarian values, so we call upon all the pro-freedom people… to be in solidarity with Afrin," Saleh Muslim said in a statement obtained by Sputnik.
The politician added that he was sure that the Kurds would secure the victory in the conflict.
According to Muslim, the ongoing operation is "a kind of revenge by the Turkish government" as the Kurds have defeated the Daesh terrorist group in a number of Syrian regions and liberated such cities as Raqqa.
Meanwhile, the Iranian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Sunday that Turkey should immediately stop the ongoing operation carried out by Ankara in Syria's northwestern Afrin district in order and to respect Syrian territorial integrity ans sovereignty.
"Iran closely follows the ongoing developments in the Syrian city of Afrin, and hopes that this operation will end immediately to prevent the deepening of the crisis in the border regions of Turkey and Syria," Qassemi said in a statement released by the Tasnim news agency.
The Iranian diplomat added that Tehran expected Ankara to protect the territorial integrity of Syria and to avoid the escalation of crisis in the Middle Eastern nation.
On Saturday, Ankara launched an operation against the Kurdish forces in Afrin. The operation started at 14:00 GMT and a total of 72 Turkish aircraft conducted airstrikes in the district. On Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim confirmed the start of the ground operation in the region.
The operation Olive Branch launched by Ankara has been strongly criticized by Damascus, while a number of other states, such as Germany expressed concerns over the developments in the region.
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