"They say that 600,000 people have been killed in Syria, but I think about a million have died. Where is the UN, what is it doing? We were tolerating it for a long time, but finally were forced to enter Syria jointly with the Free Syrian Army," Erdogan said at a symposium in Istanbul.
"What for? We do not lay claims to the Syrian lands… We are there to restore justice and put an end to the rule of cruel tyrant Assad," he said.
The Turkish operation has been widely criticized both by the Syrian Kurds and Damascus, who have accused Ankara of violating Syria's territorial integrity.