More than 3,000 YPG militants ‘neutralized’ in Turkey’s Afrin op: Army
Some 3,089 People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants have been “neutralized” in Turkey’s ongoing cross-border operation in Syria’s northwestern Afrin district, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on March 8, speaking in Ankara at an event organized in honor of International Women’s Day.
“In ‘Operation Olive Branch,’ so far 112 villages, 30 critical positions, and a total of 142 spots have been taken under control,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ had said on March 5.
Turkey launched the operation on Jan. 20 along with elements of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to remove the YPG from Afrin.
Turkey sees the YPG as a terror group for its ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terror group by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation inside Syria aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as “protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.”
Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said on March 2 that 41 Turkish soldiers and 116 FSA militants have been killed since the start of “Operation Olive Branch.” Another 119 have been wounded, state-run Anadolu Agency reported the following day.
The army announced on March 6 that another soldier succumbed to his wounds.