Over 1,641 ‘neutralized’ so far in Afrin operation: Turkish military
The Turkish General Staff said in a statement on Feb. 19 that a total of 1,641 militants have been “neutralized” since the start of “Operation Olive Branch” in the northwestern Syrian district of Afrin.
The authorities use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply that the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
In addition, a total of 674 “terrorist targets” have been destroyed in air strikes since the start of the operation, the military stated.
It also stressed that the operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the U.N. charter, and with respect for Syria’s territorial integrity.
On Jan. 20, the Turkish military, alongside elements of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), launched “Operation Olive Branch” to clear Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants from Afrin. The Turkish General Staff says the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and in the region.
Turkish, Free Syrian Army forces ‘free’ villages in Afrin
Turkish and FSA forces on Feb. 18 “liberated” three villages from the YPG, according to correspondents on the ground.
The villages of upper and lower Hecika and Dervish Ubashi in Rajo, western Afrin were cleared of YPG militants as part of the ongoing “Operation Olive Branch.”
Meanwhile, a female terrorist was captured alive by FSA forces during a sweep of upper Hacika after its “liberation.”
The villages put the total areas “liberated” from militants at 68, including 47 villages and 17 strategic mountains or hills.