World Bulletin / News Desk
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that nearly 4,250 terrorists have been neutralized during Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria's Afrin region.
Speaking at 150th foundation anniversary of Bogazici University's Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute in Istanbul, Erdogan said: “4,250 terrorists neutralized since start of Operation Olive Branch in Afrin.”
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats from the region.
On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated Afrin town center, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since 2012.
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 the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
Later speaking at Turkish Green Crescent Phoenix Award Ceremony, Erdogan expressed his support for the fight against drug addiction and its trafficking.
"The most precious treasure and the biggest power of a nation is its spiritually, mentally and physically healthy generations," Erdogan said, adding that countries which are losing its youth to alcohol, drugs, gambling and terror would have a dark future.
Erdogan also recalled that drug trafficking was the main source of income for terrorist organizations like PKK.
"They are forming societies by selling drugs and then they are reinforcing the arms mafia with this income," Erdogan said.Last Mod: 21 Nisan 2018, 10:51