Turkey does not accept criticism regarding its anti-terror operation in Syria as tens of terrorist groups roam freely without any opposition, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Thursday, ONA reports citing Daily Sabah.
"Turkey will ignore criticisms about Operation Peace Spring which we launched against terrorist elements while more than 10 foreign actors roam freely in Syria," the president said.
Erdoğan harshly criticized Saudi Arabia and others for opposing Turkey's operation: "I urge Saudi Arabia to look in the mirror and give an account of what you have done to Yemen,".
"And Egypt [referring to el-Sissi], you can't say a thing. You allowed democratically-elected Morsi to die suffering in a courtroom," the president said, noting that the country did not even allow Morsi's family to attend his funeral. "That's the sort of killer you are," he said.
"Turkey has neutralized a total of 16,000 terrorists, including 7,500 at home and 8,500 abroad in the past four years," Erdoğan said.
The president noted that a total of 109 terrorists have been killed since the start of the operation.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, the third in a series of cross-border anti-terror operations in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the PKK's Syrian offshoot the People's Protection Units (YPG), on October 9 at 4 p.m.
The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians return in the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists.
The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.
Since 2016, Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for nearly 400,000 Syrians who fled the violence to return home.