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CHP expresses support for Afrin operations

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The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Sunday expressed full support for Operation Olive Branch, carried out by the Turkish military and targeting Syria’s Afrin region, which is controlled by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

“We hope the operation will achieve its goals and that all soldiers will return to Turkey without any casualties,” said CHP Deputy Chairman and spokesperson Bülent Tezcan during a press conference in Ankara.

“Operation Olive Branch is a step that had to be taken. It’s the right operation [to conduct],” added Tezcan.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli also on Sunday voiced support for the operation in Afrin.

“There is no other way to clear our borders from terror,” he said, adding, “The operational partner of the United States should be rooted out.”

The Turkish Armed Forces backed by armored vehicles, special forces and infantry regiments have advanced five kilometers (three miles) inside Afrin, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Sunday.

Turkey views the PYD as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Sunday said Turkey was going to establish a 30-kilometer-deep secure zone in Afrin.

“All sorts of logistical support [to the PYD] will be our target,” Yıldırım said when asked what would happen if the US were to give logistical support to PYD militants.

Underlining that there are about 8-10,000 militants in Afrin, Yıldırım said they would settle new refugees outside Turkey’s border if a new influx starts due to the operation in Afrin.

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