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Turkey Slams US for Distorting UN Resolution on Syria

© REUTERS / Bassam KhabiehA man walks past damaged buildings in the rebel held besieged city of Douma, in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria January 8, 2017
A man walks past damaged buildings in the rebel held besieged city of Douma, in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria January 8, 2017 - Sputnik International
ANKARA (Sputnik) - The US State Department's recent statement accusing Turkey of violating the UNSC resolution on the Syrian truce by continuing its operation in Afrin undermines the essence of this resolution, the Turkish Foreign Ministry's spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Wednesday.

Reacting to Tuesday's statement of US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, who advised Ankara to "go back and read this resolution," when asked whether she would agree that Turkey was violating Syrian ceasefire by its actions in Afrin.

"The statement of the US State Department spokesperson that Turkey needs to 'read carefully' the UNSC resolution is unfounded and denotes that she [Nauert] did not understand how this decision should be applied, or she wants to distort it," Aksoy said in a statement.

The spokesman stressed that Washington should focus on efforts to stop violence in Syria that affected civilians, rather than making such statements.

READ MORE: Syria Cannot Use Chemical Weapons Because It Has None — Syrian Envoy to UN

A similar stance was expressed by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag on Sunday, who stated that the Security Council's resolution did not cover Ankara's military operation against Kurdish militias in Afrin as it had been conducted against terrorists.

On Saturday, the UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 2401 that urges all parties to the conflict to immediately stop all hostilities and adhere to a long-term humanitarian pause across Syria in order to ensure the safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid, as well as medical evacuation of those injured.

The resolution, however, determined that the ceasefire regime does not apply to military operations against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as Nusra Front) terrorist groups (all outlawed in Russia).

READ MORE: Lavrov: 'Unacceptable' to Divide Terrorists Into 'Good and Bad Ones'

On January 20, the Turkish Armed Forces launched Operation Olive Branch against the Kurdish forces in Afrin, an area controlled by the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which is considered by Ankara to be an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), designated as a terrorist organization in Turkey and several other countries.

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