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Turkish army purges 20 settlements in Afrin of PKK terror in 24 hours

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) cleared 20 settlements of PKK/PYD elements in Syria’s Afrin within the last 24 hours, linking the Bulbul area to Azaz on the 32nd day of Operation Olive Branch

Ersin Çelik
16:18 - 21/02/2018 Çarşamba
Update: 16:27 - 21/02/2018 Çarşamba
Yeni Şafak
File Photo
File Photo

Troops of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) carried out a great offensive on the 32nd day of Operation Olive Branch by clearing 20 settlements of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terror elements within a single day in the Bulbul, Azaz, Rajo, Sheikh al-Hadid and Jindaris areas of Syria’s Afrin.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.

After liberating the Arapviran, Shelte and Ikidam villages, the TAF and the FSA took control of the villages of Khayyam, Sereen, Carkanli, Zeytinak, which allowed them to establish control in the Jamiliyyeh area.

Lastly, by clearing the Deir Sawan village, the TAF and the FSA managed to entirely sever the ground connection between the PKK and Turkey’s border province Kilis. In the northeast of Afrin the Bulbul area was connected to Azaz as a result of Turkey’s determined military operations.

Afrin’s west line cleared

Important progress has been made in Afrin’s southwestern district of Jindaris as well. The Jindaris-Atmeh line, which was recently linked, has also been completely purged of PKK elements.

While only few terrorists who are snipers and anti-tank operators remain in the Jindaris town, Turkish and FSA troops wait for the official command to enter. Reports also state that the link to join Jindaras and Shaykh al-Hadid is almost complete as only one village remains unliberated. Additionally, troops have taken control of all settlements, except for one hill, overlooking the center of the Rajo district.

A total of 1,780 PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists have been neutralized since the launch of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's northwestern Afrin region, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on Wednesday.

PKK abandons Rajo

The TAF and the FSA only have to capture one last hill occupied by the PKK before launching an operation in Afrin’s Rajo. Local sources have reported that the terrorists who are still in control of that particular hill, which is located at a high altitude overlooking the district, could observe the passages to the center of the district, so a premature operation bears a risk of defeat for the TAF and the FSA.

Once PKK elements are eliminated from this hill, there would be nothing else left to hinder Turkey’s operation in Syria’s Rajo.

The 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. More than 40,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the three-decade long conflict.

#Turkey
#Operation Olive Branch
#Afrn
#Syria
#Rajo
#Jindaris
#PKK
#PYD
#YPG
#Daesh
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