Seventy-two Turkish jets take part in biggest ever sortie during Afrin op
Operation Olive Branch marked a first in history in terms of the number of military jets taking flight at once
News ServiceYeni Şafak
Turkish jets marked a global first by taking part in the biggest ever sortie with 72 warplanes on the first day of Operation Olive Branch launched in Afrin to clear the region of PKK/PYD and Deash terrorists.
Turkish jets hit more than 100 targets, including an air base on the first day of the operation, according to reports.
Commandos and FSA units, which have advanced seven kilometers from the north and west have liberated nine villages from PKK terrorists, thus, once again, displaying Turkey’s military power.
As the operation enters its third day, the fact that the Turkish Air Force used 72 military jets at the outset of Operation Olive Branch also brought to mind the Euphrates Shield operation, which had been launched to eliminate the Daesh presence in Syria on August 24, 2016.
At the end of the seven-month operation, 72 Turkish soldiers had been martyred. The 72 Turkish war planes that took off on day one of Operation Olive Branch is being evaluated as a tribute to the 72 soldiers who were martyred during Operation Euphrates Shield. The Turkish warplanes that had taken part in the operation were later reported to have returned to their bases safe and sound.
Turkey's Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar established radio connection with the pilots of the F-16 fighter jets and congratulated them by saying “Dear brave pilots, I applaud you.” The coordination of the F-16s that participated in the operation was ensured by airborne early warning jets which can remain airborne for 24 hours.
Operation Olive Branch was launched in order to ensure the security of Turkey’s borders and the stability in the region and to protect Syrian people from the oppression of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Daesh on Saturday at 5 p.m. [1400GMT] in Syria’s Afrin.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council decisions and self-defense rights under the UN charter, the Turkish General staff said.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) extended Operation Olive Branch to Syria's Azaz district, east of the Afrin region, on Monday.
The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. The PKK has been conducting armed violence in the southeastern part of Turkey since 1984. The PYD and its military YPG wing are Syrian branches of the PKK, which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years in which over 50,000 people were killed.
An international research company, Global Firepower, has revealed that Turkey ranks 8th among 133 countries in terms of the military strength it possesses. Ranking among the first ten strong armies in the world, the Turkish Armed Forces are designed to protect the Republic of Turkey against any external threat.