Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Turkey will send the millions of Syrian refugees staying there to Europe if the EU condemns the Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria as an invasion or occupation.
"We will open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees in your direction," Erdogan said in a speech to MPs from his AK party.
The Turkish president responded to the wave of international criticism that broke out after the Turkish forces opened an offensive on Wednesday against Kurdish fighters in the area in Northern Syria where Turkey wants to fight a "safe zone" as a buffer against "terrorism."
Between the start of the offensive and the end of Thursday morning, Turkish troops and the Arab and Turkish-Syrian militia that support them killed 109 Kurdish fighters, Erdogan said.
He defended the Turkish operation, which was baptized "Peace Spring," arguing that the advantage of Syrian government is from President Bashar Al Assad, because it helps restore the territorial integrity of the neighboring country by restoring Kurdish authority in the region and to restore the "democratic structure".