By Ahmed al-Said and Yousef Hussein
TRIPOLI, Lebanon (AA) – Hundreds of Lebanese turned out Friday to show their support for the Turkish operation in northern Syria against the terrorist YPGPKK.
The demonstrators, rallying in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, raised Turkish flags and chanted in support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his decision to neutralize terror groups in northern Syria.
"We wave these flags in support of Turkey in its ongoing offensive against terror groups in northern Syria," Ahmed Younis, one of the demonstrators, told Anadolu Agency.
"Turkey has always stood with oppressed peoples and safeguarded them in Turkey,” said another demonstrator.
“This offensive is for peace and to neutralize northern Syria from terrorists," said a third demonstrator, Khaled al-Abdallah.
Turkey on Wednesday launched Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist elements and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to eliminate terrorist elements of the PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG, from the region.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara