16:30 GMT +321 August 2018
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    Leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu delivers a speech during the 35th General Assembly of the party at Ankara Sports Hall in Ankara, on January 16, 2016

    Leader of Major Turkish Opposition Party Backs Operation in Syria's Afrin

    © AFP 2018 / ADEM ALTAN
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - Ankara's operation Olive Branch in the Syrian district of Afrin was "inevitable" and Turkish troops are helping maintain Syria's territorial integrity, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), said Monday.

    "Operation Olive Branch was inevitable on the country's agenda. We want it to be finished without significant losses. Our troops are making their contribution to Syria's territorial integrity," Kilicdaroglu told reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

    The prime minister, in turn, thanked the two main opposition parties, CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party, for their support of the operation in the north of Syria.

    Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party was the only one among the four movements in the Turkish parliament to criticize the campaign against the Syrian Kurds. The territories in Afrin, close to the Turkish border, are controlled mainly by Syrian Kurds' militias, which Ankara considers to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), designated as a terrorist organization in Turkey.

    The Turkish General Staff announced the beginning of the campaign on Saturday, while Yildirim confirmed the launch of the offensive on the ground on Sunday. Damascus has condemned the operation, saying it was a violation of Syria's sovereignty.

    Related:

    First Turkish Soldier Killed in Afrin Operation
    Ankara Pursuing Offensive Against Kurds in Afrin Despite Damascus' Disapproval
    US 'Engaged' With Turkey on Operation in Syria's Afrin - Tillerson
    Tags:
    Turkish Republican People's Party (CHP), Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Afrin, Turkey
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