Turkish army chief hopes Afrin goals to be met soon

Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin is continuing successfully: Gen. Hulusi Akar

Turkish army chief hopes Afrin goals to be met soon

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish army chief hopes the Turkish military, which uses the most modern weapons in its ongoing military operation in Syria’s Afrin while taking care civilians do not get hurt, will achieve its objectives soon.

Speaking at the Turkish General Staff in Ankara on Friday, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar said the Turkish army launched its Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to secure Turkish borders, neutralize all terrorists, especially PKK/KCK/PYD/YPG and ISIL, and protect local residents in Afrin from the cruelty of terrorists.

Akar emphasized that the operation was continuing successfully and added that Turkish Armed Forces, gendarmerie and police would continue their fight in a resolute way until the last terrorist gets eliminated from Turkey and its borders.

Earlier Friday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said three-fourths of Afrin in northwestern Syria had been liberated during Operation Olive Branch.

Speaking at a local congress of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in eastern Erzurum province, Erdogan said Turkey had resolved the Afrin issue to a great extent.

"Until now, we have established control in three-fourths of the Afrin region," he said.

Erdogan said 1,320 square kilometers (510 square miles) of area in Afrin was now under Turkey’s control and 3,530 terrorists were "neutralized" during the ongoing operation.

Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-ISIL 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 the 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 also said only terror targets are being destroyed and that "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Mart 2018, 10:27