Turkish soldiers and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters have cleared Muhammadiyah village and Amarah Hill of PYD/PKK terrorists in western Afrin region, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents on the ground on Monday.
Jandaris town's Muhammadiyah village is located in the west of Afrin.
Since the beginning of the operation, 51 different strategic areas have been captured from the clutches of terrorists, among them a town center, 33 villages, three rural areas and 14 hills.
Turkey questions seriousness of US in anti-terror fight
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Monday questioned the seriousness of the U.S. in the fight against terrorism and urged it again to drop its support for terror groups.Speaking at a news conference alongside his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev in capital Ankara, Yildirim said: “The U.S., which we think as our NATO ally and years-long strategic partner, should pull itself together, and come to a proper decision.“The U.S. should see that fight against a terror group via another one does not comply with a state’s seriousness. It would be nice if the U.S. could see that, if it doesn’t then we will continue to do what is necessary.”“We don’t need anybody’s permission to do that. We will exercise all the rights given to us by international law,” added Yıldırım, emphasizing that Turkey would take steps resolutely in order to end terror threats in both Afrin and other regions.The U.S. has long supported the PYD/PKK terror group as a “reliable ally” in its fight against Daesh, despite strong objections from Ankara, which has documented that the organization is the Syrian branch of the terrorist PKK.The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by the U.S., EU, and Turkey.Turkey ensures safety of the EU, BalkansIn regards to Turkey’s efforts in the region amid Olive Branch Operation, “Turkey doesn’t just ensure its own citizens’ safety of life and property, it also provides security for the entire EU and the Balkans," said Yıldırım. "Unfortunately, we have seen that the EU doesn’t acknowledge and appreciate it,” said Yıldırım stating that Europe would pay an enormous price due to the refugee crisis and terror wave if it weren’t for Turkey.On Jan. 20, Turkey 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 Turkey’s borders and the region as well as 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 that "utmost care" is being used to avoid harming civilians.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 a fight.Turkey-Macedonia relationsOn the bilateral relations between the two countries, Yıldırım said Turkey and Macedonia agreed to boost their relations in all areas.Alongside Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) and Turkey’s fight against terrorism, Yildirim also informed his Macedonian counterpart about the regional issues, including Syria and Iraq, and particularly Operation Olive Branch in Afrin during their meeting ahead of the news conference.Expressing Macedonia’s full support for Turkey’s fight against the FETÖ, Zaev said his country would take all necessary precautions against the terrorist group.He said both countries want to improve relations in various areas, including economy, energy, agriculture, industry, and defense. He also emphasized the development of cultural relations.Speaking about the crisis between Greece and Macedonia, Zaev praised Turkey’s support for the Republic of Macedonia."Turkish Republic defends and supports a solution which will be appropriate for both sides. A solution applicable for the NATO and the EU will also suit us,” Zaev noted.Greece does not accept Macedonia’s name as it has a region by the same name in the north of the country. Greece also argues that the former Yugoslav Republic has claims on its territory and its historical heritage.Since 2017, negotiations have stepped up, as the new government in Skopje wants a deal over its name with Athens, which can veto its NATO and EU membership.
Turkey arrests 474 people for promoting PYD/PKK online
A total of 474 suspects were arrested across Turkey last week for promotion of PYD/PKK terrorist organization on social media, according to the Interior Ministry on Monday.In a written statement, the ministry said Turkish security forces arrested the suspects during nationwide operations for doing propaganda against ongoing Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s northwestern Afrin.Some 192 suspects were also arrested for being involved in protests against Turkey’s Afrin operation.On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terror groups from northwestern Afrin region of Syria.According to the Turkish General Staff, the Afrin 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 statement added security forces carried out 1,053 counter-terror operations between Feb. 5 and Feb. 12.During the operations, 25 terrorists were “neutralized”, 353 were held on charges of aiding and abetting the PKK terror group while 66 others were taken into custody for alleged links to Daesh, it added.Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or held.Turkish police arrest 19 PKK-linked terroristsTurkish police arrest 35 PKK/KCK suspectsFETÖ suspects also heldPolice also arrested 568 others for suspected ties to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) -- the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey -- and 15 others for links to leftist terrorist groups.Fifty-seven shelters and caves used by PKK terrorists and 10 improvised explosive devices and mines were destroyed in controlled detonations in the provinces of Batman, Bingol, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Hakkari, Hatay, Mardin, Siirt, Sirnak, Tunceli and Van.During the operations, security forces also seized 790 kilograms (1,742 pounds) of explosives material, 15 hand grenades, 6,107 rounds of ammunition and 21 weapons, including 20 long-barreled guns and heavy weapons.Additionally, 2,885 anti-narcotics and anti-contraband operations were carried out during which 4,972 suspects were captured in nationwide operations, according to the statement.The raids led to the seizure of 4,833 tons of hashish, 312 kg (688 lb.) of heroin, 5.2 kg (11.5 Ib.) methamphetamine, 314,347 illegal drugs, 457,825 packages of smuggled cigarettes and over 46,266 liters of smuggled oil.Security forces also arrested 243 suspects for crimes linked to terrorism and 31 others for organized trafficking of migrants; 4,627 undocumented migrants were also arrested for illegal border crossings.
Over 1,350 terrorists neutralized in Syria operation
A total of 1,369 PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists have been "neutralized" since the launch of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin region, the military said on Monday.Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.Video: Turkish sniper annihilates PKK/YPG armory in Afrin opIn a statement, the Turkish General Staff said that Turkish Armed Forces' overnight airstrikes had destroyed 15 terrorist targets used for shelter as well as ammunition depots, and weapon pits.According to information gathered from the region, 103 PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists were neutralized on Sunday.Turkish military, FSA units only 3 km away from Syria’s JinderesLater the Turkish General Staff released another statement, saying that 31 soldiers have been martyred and 143 others have been injured since the beginning of the operation.The statement added that only one of the wounded soldiers faces a life-threatening injury."Since the beginning of the operation, fighter jets belonging to our Air Forces have destroyed 627 PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terror targets," statement said.Turkish military, Free Syrian Army free another villageOn Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in 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 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.
Turkey on Jan 20. 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 Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from 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 has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost importance" is being put on avoiding harming civilians.
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 a fight.