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Afrin operation 'not harming civilians'

Turkey has shown "sensitivity" to not harming civilians during the ongoing operation in Syria’s Afrin, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Sunday.

"During Operation Euphrates Shield, we scrutinized for civilians so that they did not get harmed. Now, also here [in Afrin], we are again showing the same sensitivity so that civilians do not get hurt," Bozdag said at the Justice and Development (AK) Party Youth Congress in the central Aksaray province.

The deputy premier said Operation Olive Branch will continue until Turkey's concerns disappear.

"Those who warn Turkey about civilians have to see the value Turkey attaches to civilians and its sensitivity about protecting civilians," he added.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and the "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.