Claim: US and UK 'strongly criticize' Afrin Operation

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Claim: US and UK 'strongly criticize' Afrin Operation

2018-01-23 11:45 GMT
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The Guardian article falsely claims that the US and the UK strongly criticize Turkey's Afrin Operation, however both countries acknowledge Turkey's legitimate security concerns justifying the operation

An article was published about Turkey’s recent operation in Afrin, Syria called the Operation Olive Branch at the Guardian on 23 January 2018. The article, however, includes a substantial factual mistake.

It is claimed that “The US, Britain and France have all strongly criticised the Turkish invasion of northern Syria”. However, neither the US nor the UK raised an objection against Turkey’s recent operation in Afrin, Syria. In fact, both the US and the UK have recognized Turkey’s legitimate right to protect its security through the Afrin Operation. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tweeted “Turkey is right to want to keep its borders secure”  over the Afrin Operation. He emphasized that Turkey and the UK share the common goal of reducing violence and foster the political progress in Syria.

Likewise, the US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis stated “Turkey has legitimate security concerns”  to the reporters during his trip to Jakarta, while referring to Turkey’s military operation. In a statement issued on January 21, the US State Department also specified that the United States would be “supportive of addressing the legitimate security concerns of Turkey”  while only indicating that the operation should remain limited in scope and duration and with cautions to avoid civilian casualties.