2,668 terrorists 'neutralized' in Turkey's Syria op

Türkiye Materials 4 March 2018 22:12 (UTC +04:00)

At least 2,668 YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists have been "neutralized" since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria, the military said on Sunday.

In a statement, the Turkish General Staff said the Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) liberated seven villages and a mountain from YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists and took control of a town center.

The village of Haji Khalil in Rajo, located northwest of Afrin, was cleared of the terrorists.

Also, Shaykh al-Hadid, located in west of Afrin, became the third town center liberated since the launch of the operation. Bulbul and Rajo town centers were previously liberated.

Later on Sunday, six more villages and a mountain were liberated. They include Bafliun village and its mountain in the Sharan district, Hulilu village in Rajo, and Souuldjouk, Kora and Araendi villages in Shaykh al-Hadid district.

Turkish Army also said the highways from Rajo and Jinderes leading to Afrin were all taken under control.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.

Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and that "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.