Turkish and Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces liberated another northwestern Syrian village from PYD/PKK terrorists on Tuesday, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents on the ground.
Operation Olive Branch cleared PYD/PKK terrorists from the village of Omar Simo in Afrin, Syria.
Including Omar Simo, to date Turkish forces and the FSA have liberated a total of 52 zones, including 34 villages and 14 strategic mountains or hills.
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 protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.
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, the military said.
The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken 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.
Erdoğan: US financial support for YPG terrorists will affect Turkey's decisions
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized U.S. support of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, at a speech to members of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party on Tuesday.“The U.S. decision to provide financial support to the YPG will affect Turkey's decisions. The support will allegedly reach $3 billion,” Erdoğan said.He added that "all truths will be discussed" when U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits Turkey this week.Pentagon seeks to invest $550M in PYD/PKKThe Pentagon requested $300 million on Monday to train and equip the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the umbrella group for the PYD/PKK terror group, and wants nearly as much to build the “border security force” made up of PYD terrorists in Syria.“Nobody has the right to use Daesh as an excuse. The Daesh play in Syria, and Iraq has come to an end,” said Erdoğan.Early on Tuesday, Tillerson said the end of major combat operations against Daesh does not mean the U.S. and its allies have achieved an enduring defeat against Daesh.US ‘keenly aware’ of Turkey’s security concerns: Tillerson“Of course, we will not purposefully target them [U.S.], but starting from the terrorists who stand beside them, we will destroy every terrorist we come across. Then they will understand that it would be better if they weren’t beside the terrorists whom they pat on the back,” Erdoğan said.Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 in Syria’s Afrin to establish security and stability, eliminate PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists, and save locals from their oppression and cruelty."It is quite clear that those who say they will retaliate if we strike have never had an Ottoman slap," said Erdoğan.In a veiled message to Turkey, Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, the overall Global Coalition Against Daesh commander, had said: “You hit us, we will respond aggressively. We will defend ourselves.”Over 1,400 terrorists neutralized in Afrin operationThe U.S has supplied the YPG/PYD terror organization with more than 5,000 truckloads of weapons to allegedly use in the fight against Daesh, despite Ankara’s warnings that the group is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror organization.It is wrong to say NATO equals U.S.Erdoğan called on the U.S. to abide by its NATO obligations."What kind of NATO membership is this? What kind of NATO alliance is this?" he asked."As president of Turkey, [I say] NATO is not equal to the U.S., all countries [in the alliance] are equals to the U.S."Cyprus should not overstep the mark after ship incidentErdoğan called on Cyprus not to overstep the mark in the eastern Mediterranean, after Greek Cypriots accused the Turkish military of obstructing a vessel exploring for natural gas over the weekend.“Those who crossed their limits in Cyprus and the Aegean Sea should not make any miscalculation,” Erdoğan said.Erdoğan said Turkish warships and security units were monitoring developments in the region.Turkey slams Greek Cypriot's hydrocarbon activities
PKK/PYD terrorists receive arms through KRG ‘terror gate'
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has extended help to terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)’s Syrian offshoot, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region, by illegally keeping the Semalka border gate with Syria open, violating a decision by the Central Government in Baghdad to hand over control over all KRG-run crossings.The Semalka border crossing has become a “terror corridor” for PKK/PYD terrorists in Afrin as Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch enters its 25th day.Under the pretext of sending humanitarian aid and medical supplies, it was decided during the parliament session earlier in February to keep open the border gates between Iraq’s northern region and PKK/PYD-occupied areas in northern Syria.Following last year’s illegal referendum to declare independence from Baghdad, which the KRG proceeded to hold despite numerous international warnings, the northern Iraqi administration came out against Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s PKK/PYD-occupied Afrin.Video: Gendarmerie Special Forces join Turkey’s Afrin opWeapon trucks pass through Semalka border gateArms and reinforcements sent by Washington to PKK/PYD terrorists in Syria pass through the Semalka border gate, including weapons and armored personnel carriers.Close to 5,000 truckloads of weapons and ammunitions were sent by the U.S. to PKK/PYD terrorists in Syria through the KRG-controlled border gate in northern Iraq under the pretext of the fight against Daesh.U.S. military officials also travelled to Syria from Iraq through the Semalka border gate run by the KRG.PKK terrorists in Iraq also use this border gate to send fighters and logistic support to their PYD affiliate in Syria’s northwestern Afrin.On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch along with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to clear 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 terrorist oppression and cruelty.Northern Iraq delegation in AfrinA KRG parliamentarian delegation recently traveled to Syria through the Semalka border gate, which included a visit to PKK/PYD terrorists in Afrin.The delegations included KRG lawmakers such as Eli Halo, Ebas Fetah, Sherko Heme Emin and Suhrab Mikail.Halo, who is a member of Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) party, showered praise on PKK/PYD terrorists in Afrin, stressing that they’re closely following developments in the region, scandalously labeled the Turkish army as “invaders.”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.German spy agency: PYD PKK’s 'sister organization'German spy agency: PYD PKK’s 'sister organization''PKK/YPG terrorists are US soldiers'Pentagon seeks to invest $550M in PYD/PKK
Over 65 PKK/KCK suspects arrested across Turkey
Over 65 people were arrested as part of PKK/KCK counter-terrorism raids across Turkey, police sources said on Tuesday.In a statement, the Van Provincial Security Directorate said police carried out simultaneous operations in the province to apprehend 20 PKK/KCK suspects. 18 of them were arrested as part of the raids.According to the statement, the suspects were planning to hold street demonstrations to protest both the anniversary of the 1999 arrest of Abdullah Ocalan, the convicted leader of the terrorist organization PKK, and the ongoing Turkish-led Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria.Over 1,400 terrorists neutralized in Afrin operationThe PKK -- recognized as a terrorist group by the U.S., the EU, and Turkey -- is responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including women and children, since July 2015 alone.Police also rounded up 17 suspects in the northwestern Balikesir province for allegedly spreading terror propaganda on social media against Operation Olive Branch, the governorship said on Tuesday.Hunt for four people are ongoing, it added.Another 17 suspects -- including opposition People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP) provincial heads and members -- were arrested in southern Hatay province for allegedly promoting PYD/PKK/KCK/YPG propaganda. The suspects were also allegedly trying to defame ongoing Turkish-led Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syrian region of Afrin, a police source said.Counter-terrorism raids also saw 11 suspects arrested in eastern Malatya province on Tuesday.The suspects were spreading propaganda of PKK/KCK terror group, attending funerals of terrorists, holding press briefings and attending marches, said the police source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.In central province of Kayseri, 6 suspects were arrested for allegedly spreading PYD/PKK terror group’s propaganda, another police source said.