Ankara: A total of 3,567 terrorists 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 Saturday morning.
According to Anadolu Agency, the terrorists belong to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PYD/PKK) and Islamic State (IS) group, who have together indulged in massive military activities across Afrin and other disturbed areas since the start of Syria’s civil war between the ruling government of President Bashar Al Assad and various opposing forces.
Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
On January 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
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 the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
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 the “utmost care” is being taken to avoid harming civilians.