By Kubra Chohan
ANKARA (AA) - At least 19 more PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists have been "neutralized" in Turkey's Operation Olive Branch in Syria, the Turkish General Staff said on Monday.
So far 616 terrorists have been neutralized since the beginning of the operation.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch along with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
In a statement, the military said that Turkish Armed Forces had destroyed nine more terrorist targets in airstrikes that were carried out during the day.
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 importance and sensitivity" are being used to avoid harming civilians.
The operation is continuing "successfully" as planned, said the statement.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012, when the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without a fight.