Macron warns Turkey against 'invasion' of Syria

Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalın

The Turkish Armed Forces eliminated 712 terrorists of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria as part of the Operation Olive Branch, the Turkish General Staff said in a message January 31.

Turkey's Catholic Church, whose seven dioceses and apostolic vicariates have around 53,000 members, according to the Vatican, has not commented on the military campaign.

F-16 fighters of the Turkish Air Force are involved in the operation, inflicting strikes on the positions of PYD/YPG on the Syrian-Turkish border, .

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly said that Afrin should be cleared of "terrorists", and demanded the deployment of Turkish troops there during a speech back in November 2016.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview Wednesday that he would have a "real problem" with Turkey's intervention against a Kurdish militia in Syria if it turned into an outright "invasion".

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on global law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the U.N. charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said. One of them, 17-year-old Fatma Avlar, died from her wounds, the agency said.

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This is while U.S. officials regard the YPG as the most effective fighting force against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in northern Syria, and have substantially increased their weaponry and technology support to the group.

"The whole world knows and should know that Turkey does not operate with the mentality of an invader", Yildirim said.

Turkey sees the YPG as the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.

While the bungled announcement of United States plans to incorporate the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in a 30,000 Syrian strong border force appears to be the temporary justification, the attack was long in the making: the Turkish government had been openly threatening military action in Afrin for more than a year.

So far, Turkey has reported the killing of 712 militants, and the destruction of more than 400 militants facilities.

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