Military operations ‘must be taken seriously,’ İYİ Party leader Akşener says

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All steps of military operations “must be taken seriously,” said İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener on Feb. 10, criticizing the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) “frivolous” approach towards “Operation Olive Branch,” which was launched by Turkey in northwestern Syria. 

Speaking in the western city of Denizli, Akşener said the seriousness of this military operation has not been sufficiently realized. 

“They are sending soldiers to Afrin with a flourish of trumpets and displaying soldiers and commanders without any seriousness. However, military operations are serious and they need to be taken seriously,” said Akşener. 

She also slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his remarks regarding the military operation. 

“He says ‘It is just a warm-up, we are only at the bottom of the ladder.’ You should be ashamed of this statement. It is not a football game. It is about soldiers who struggle with full effort and are ready to die for their country,” she said. 

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” to clear People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants from the northwestern province of Afrin in Syria. 

At least 1,266 YPG militants have been “neutralized” since the beginning of the operation, the Turkish General Staff said on Feb. 11. 

Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

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