The Turkish military has rejected reports that civilians have been harmed during its ongoing military operation in northern Syria. The reports said that civilians were affected during the ongoing Euphrates Shield Operation but according to the General staff it doesn’t reflect the facts on the ground because to not harm the civilians is one of the basic principles of the Turkish Armed Forces. The operation began in late August last year to improve security, support coalition forces and eliminate the terror threat along Turkey’s border with Syria with the help of opposition fighters backed by Turkish artillery and jets. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based war monitor, had said in late December 2016 that Turkish airstrikes on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-held town of al-Bab in northern Syria, had killed civilians. This claim was not verified from other sources.