13:20 GMT +321 October 2019
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    Turkish military armoured vehicles arrive at a border village near the town of Hassa in Hatay province, Turkey, Turkey January 21, 2018

    Turkey Has Legitimate Interest in Border Security - UK PM's Spokesman

    © REUTERS / Baris Kadirhan/Depo Photos
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    On Saturday, Ankara launched an operation against the Kurdish militia in Afrin, whereas Ankara's relations with Washington remain strained, with the US forming a new force on the Syrian border.

    "We recognize Turkey has a legitimate interest in the security of its borders," the spokesman of UK Prime Minister Theresa May told reporters on Monday.

    READ MORE: US-Backed SDF Considering Sending Reinforcements to Afrin Amid Turkish Op

    The spokesperson also added that Britain seeks to find ways of ceasing violence in Syria in the wake of Turkey's operation.

    "The UK is committed to working closely with Turkey and other allies to find solutions that provide stability, refrain from escalating the situation and protect Turkey's security interests."

    The UK's statement comes after Turkey started Saturday a military assault on the northern Syrian enclave of Afrin aimed at eliminating armed Kurdish militias, which Ankara considers to be terrorist groups.

    Turkey has been fighting Kurdish groups affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, banned by Ankara as a terrorist organization, for decades. Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli explained that operation in Afrin is aimed at destroying all "terrorist corridors," adding that Ankara is exercising its "right to self-defense in line with international law."

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    Tags:
    military operation, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Syria, Afrin, United Kingdom, Turkey
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