Erdogan Says Turkey's Op in Syria Aimed to 'Put an End to the Rule' of Assad

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The Turkish armed forces' military operation in Syria is aimed to put an end to the rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.

Turkish army tanks are stationed near the Syrian border in Karkamis, Turkey, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 - Sputnik International
Safe Zone: Priority Goal of Turkey's Euphrates Shield Operation in Syria
ANKARA (Sputnik) — On August 24, Turkish forces, backed by US-led coalition aircraft, began a military operation dubbed the Euphrates Shield to clear the Syrian border town of Jarabulus and the surrounding area of Daesh terrorist group. As Jarabulus was recaptured, the joint forces of Ankara, the coalition and Syrian opposition groups continued the offensive southwest.

"They say that 600,000 people have been killed in Syria, but I think about a million have died. Where is the UN, what is it doing? We were tolerating it for a long time, but finally were forced to enter Syria jointly with the Free Syrian Army," Erdogan said at a symposium in Istanbul.

"What for? We do not lay claims to the Syrian lands… We are there to restore justice and put an end to the rule of cruel tyrant Assad," he said.

The Turkish operation has been widely criticized both by the Syrian Kurds and Damascus, who have accused Ankara of violating Syria's territorial integrity.

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