'Over 340 terrorists neutralized' in Afrin operation
Turkish military says showing utmost care to not harm any civilians during Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria
At least 343 PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists have been "neutralized" since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Afrin region of Syria, the military said Friday.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
Turkish Armed Forces also destroyed 23 targets -- among them weapon pits, shelters, and ammunition depots -- of the PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists Thursday night, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement.
The military reiterated that it was showing utmost care to not harm any civilians during the operation.
"The only things being targeted are terrorists, and any shelters, pits, weapons, vehicles, and equipment that belong to them," it said.
Operation Olive Branch is "successfully continuing as planned", the military added.
Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people 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’s decisions, self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.