Erdogan says Turkey's Syria operation to protect rights of all Syrians
ISTANBUL, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that his country's ongoing military operation in northern Syria was designed to protect the rights of all people there and not to divide the Arab country.
"Turkey's anti-terror operation is meant to protect the rights of all the northern Syrian people, including Arabs, Kurds, Ezidis and Chaldeans, and not divide Syria," Erdogan said at a reception held in Istanbul in honor of the participants in a meeting of speakers of parliaments.
The operation would ensure Turkey's border security and the safe return of the Syrian refugees being sheltered in Turkey by clearing terror groups from the east of the Euphrates River, the Turkish leader said.
Turkey launched the Operation Peace Spring on Wednesday in northern Syria against the Kurdish militia known as the People's Protection Units (YPG), seen by Ankara as the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party.
Erdogan accused the YPG of killing hundreds of civilians, saying "Turkey couldn't wait any longer to act."