"It would be enough to look at the area of 2,000 square kilometers (772 square miles) cleared of terrorists along the Manbij, Jarablus and Azez line during Operation Euphrates Shield to understand what we want to do in Afrin", Yıldırım said, adding that any other assessment of the situation was "far away from the truth".
Ankara began a cross-border operation dubbed "Olive Branch" supporting Syrian rebels with air strikes and ground troops in northern Syria against the People's Protection Units (YPG) militia and its western enclave of Afrin on January 20. Two of the victims were Syrian refugees.
The military also said "utmost importance" is being placed on not harming any civilians.
Newspapers in Greece, which has joined the U.S. in backing a Kurdish-led border force in Syria, criticised Bartholomew I's open letter, while the country's Orthodox church portal published a mock-up picture of the patriarch grinning next to a heavily armed Turkish soldier.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdish insurgency it has battled for decades.
Such a scenario "essentially takes the focus off ISIS and gives ISIS manoeuvre space".
Turkey ended its campaign in northern Syria in March 2017, but at the time did not rule out the possibility of yet another act of military offensive inside the Arab country.
Addressing parliament on Tuesday, Canikli denied reports of civilian deaths in the offensive, saying, "No civilian has been harmed in Operation Olive Branch of Turkish Armed Forces and the FSA".
Macron told Le Figaro that he would like to work with Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United States and Egypt to develop an inclusive mechanism to resolve the problem and he would work to convince Turkey and Russian Federation to this end.
"If the operation becomes more than fighting a potential terrorist threat on the Turkish border and turns into an invasion operation, we would have a real problem with that", he said in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro on January 31.
"The whole world knows and should know that Turkey does not operate with the mentality of an invader", Yildirim said.
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