On Wednesday, Turkey told the United Nations Security Council that its military operation in northern Syria would be “proportionate, measured and responsible” before a closed-door meeting of the 15-member body to discuss Ankara’s offensive.
The operation started on Wednesday just days after an abrupt decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to move U.S. troops from the area who had been allies of the Kurds fighting Islamic State. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called it a “terror corridor” on Turkey’s southern border with Syria.
Turkey claimed the Kurdish YPG is a terror group connected to Kurdish insurgents that have fought in Turkey for years. Kurdish YPG, the main component of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
On Thursday, the U.N.Security Council will meet to discuss the situation in Syria at the request of the body’s five European members, Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, and Poland.
Turkey’s U.N. Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu wrote in a letter to the council, “As has been the case in its previous counter-terrorism operations, Turkey’s response will be proportionate, measured and responsible.”
“The operation will only target terrorists and their hideouts, shelters, emplacements, weapons vehicles and equipment,” he wrote. “All precautions are taken to avoid collateral damage to the civilian population.”
Under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, Turkey justified its action. The U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said that United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “very concerned” by developments in northeast Syria and “any military operation must fully respect the U.N. Charter and international humanitarian law.”
Guterres called for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure and Haq said Guterres “believes that there’s no military solution to the Syrian conflict.”