Over 1,590 militants 'neutralized' in Afrin operation

Over 1,590 militants 'neutralized' in Afrin operation

Over 1,590 militants neutralized in Afrin operation

A total of 1,595 militants have been "neutralized" since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's northwestern Afrin region, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on Feb. 17.

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

Also, total of 674 "terrorist targets" have been destroyed in air strikes since the start of the operation, the military said.

Meanwhile, Turkey is preparing to set up new camps for civilians in northern Syria, Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag said on Feb. 17.   Akdağ said the camps catering to civilian needs will be similar to those which were built after Operation Euphrates Shield.

Operation Euphrates Shield was conducted jointly by the Turkish Armed Forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), from August 2016 to late March 2017, to improve security and support coalition forces.

His remarks came during a visit to the Ordu Governorship in Turkey’s Black Sea province. 

He added that the camps will be equipped with tents, bathrooms and water wells. 

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants from Afrin.

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