– Turkish Armed Forces say at least 2,434 terrorists “neutralized” since beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Afrin
A total of 924 PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG, Daesh terrorist targets have been destroyed in airstrikes since the launch of Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on Saturday.
The military said at least 2,434 terrorists were “neutralized” since the beginning of the operation.
Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
Forty-one Turkish soldiers were martyred and 199 others were injured during the clashes with terrorists since the beginning of the operation, it added,
The medical treatment of 63 injured soldiers has been completed and they returned to duty.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists 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 to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria’s territorial integrity, it said.
The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and that “utmost care” is being taken to avoid harming civilians.
– Northern Iraq, southeastern Turkey, Idlib
Operations against PKK/KCK terrorist organization continue in southeastern provinces of Turkey and northern Iraq, the military said Saturday.
Seventeen terrorists were “neutralized” in Sirnak, Siirt, Diyarbakir, Bitlis and in norhern Iraq from Feb.24-March 2, according to the statement.
Turkish forces destroyed 23 terrorist targets used as shelters and ammunition depots, and weapon pits. Also, several weapons and hand-made explosives were seized.
The military said Turkey had established eight observation points in the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria with the aim of enhancing the cease-fire’s efficiency, ending clashes and delivering humanitarian aid within the scope of Astana talks.
“Turkish Armed Forces elements conducts duties in the region in accordance with the engagement rules that were agreed by the guarantor countries during the Astana talks,” it said.
Under the Astana agreement, Turkey is set to gradually establish 12 observation points, from Idlib’s north to south.
Idlib, located in northwestern Syria on the Turkish border, has faced intense attacks by the Assad regime after a vicious civil war broke out in 2011.
Since March 2015, Idlib is no longer under the control of the Assad regime and has been overrun by military opposition groups and anti-regime armed organizations.