Qa-26, 24 March 2018, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question Regarding The Baseless Allegations Placed In The Lebanese Press On Bombing Of Two Sacred Places In Afrin Region Within The Olive Branch Operation

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 24.03.2018

With reference to official SANA Agency, there have been fabricated news released yesterday by some media outlets in Lebanon, claiming that the Turkish Air Forces have targeted an archaeological site located in Brad near Afrin, destroying the tomb of St. Maron and the Church of Julianus.

The news in question are completely baseless. The Turkish Air Forces did not conduct any air strike or bombardment in the area, where those sites are located. It should also be noted that an armed group had desecrated the Church of Julianus in February 2013, causing severe damage to its holy artifacts and premises. This information can easily be verified from open sources.

The news story of yesterday is the latest example of the groundless news against Turkey with obvious purposes and by known sources, appearing in some foreign media for some time regarding Operation Olive Branch.

Contrary to the claims, since the very begining, Operation Olive Branch has been conducted with utmost caution and care to preserve and respect the religious and cultural structures, historical artifacts and archaeological sites.

Necessary steps are taken before the Lebanon authorities for refuting the mentioned false news.

Mehmet Vakur Erkul Ambassador
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