Turkish army airdrops info sheets in Afrin during military operation
The Turkish Armed Forces on March 16 has airdropped information sheets prepared in Kurdish and Arabic, meant for civilians in Afrin in northern Syria, where the army has been carrying out a cross-border military operation against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) since Jan. 20.
“Our only targets are the terror organizations that have been torturing you,” the sheet read.
“Valuable brothers and sisters from Afrin, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the YPG and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) have caused material and mental damage to both you and us for years. They have removed you from your homes. It is time to say ‘stop’ to these terrorists,” the leaflet said.
“Stay away from the terrorists and the terror compounds,” the army warned the locals, also asking them to not allow to be used as “human shields.”
Those who want to leave Afrin will be under the Turkish Armed Forces’ protection, the army vowed.
The military also asked for locals to tune in to the state-run Turkish Radio and Television channel (TRT).
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” to clear the YPG militant group from Afrin.
More than 3,500 militants ‘neutralized’
A total of 3,530 militants have been “neutralized” since the start of “Operation Olive Branch” in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on the morning of March 16.
Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply that the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.