By Ilkay Guder
ANKARA (AA) - At least 1,266 PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists have been "neutralized" since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin, the Turkish General Staff said Sunday.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
In a statement, the military said the Turkish Armed Forces had destroyed 19 PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorist targets and "neutralized" 86 more terrorists during operations since Saturday.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, 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 to 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 only terror targets are being destroyed and the "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.