999 militants ‘neutralized’ in Turkey’s Afrin operation, military claims
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
At least 999 People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Islamic State, Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants have been “neutralized” since the beginning of “Operation Olive Branch” in Syria’s northwestern district of Afrin, according to Turkish General Staff on Feb. 7, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
In a statement, the military said Turkish Armed Forces had neutralized 29 more YPG and ISIL militants in airstrikes that were carried out overnight.
Meanwhile, Turkish soldiers and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters uncovered a four-kilometer-long ditch used by YPG militants in a village they captured during the ongoing “Operation Olive Branch.”
On the 18th day of the operation, a 3.5-meter-deep and 3-meter-wide ditch linking Dikmetaş, under control of the group, with opposition-held Yazıbağ villages was discovered.
Opposition forces subsequently filled the ditch with soil to make it unusable.
A total of 36 locations, including 23 villages and 11 strategic hills, have been taken by Turkey so far in the operation.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” along with the FSA to clear YPG militants from Afrin.
Turkish tanks thwart YPG attack
Turkish Armed Forces also foiled a YPG attack in Syria’s northwestern Afrin on Feb. 7.
Turkish tanks reportedly hit an explosive-laden truck that was advancing towards an FSA position after troops spotted it through thermal cameras.