Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has told a party congress in the Istanbul neighbourhood of Fatih that his government supported the U.S., British and French airstrikes on Syria, left-wing newspaper BirGün said.
“We find the operation carried out correct,” he said.
The airstrikes came after Syrian President Bashar Assad allegedly carried out chemical weapons attacks on his own people in the town of Douma.
Erdoğan also took aim at criticisms of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) by opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
The FSA were “heroes”, Erdoğan said, and so far in the Afrin operation they had assisted the Turkish military in killing 4,200 Kurdish and Islamic State militants.
“In front of us is the Popular Alliance (with the Nationalist Movement Party in the upcoming 2019 elections). We will give a message to 81 million people,” Erdoğan said.
“We will not give any opportunity to those who wish to divide us. God willing, we will emerge from the ballot box with a (considerable) margin. Let us emerge with a margin so that Turkey can begin a new era.”