By Ozcan Yildirim
ANKARA (AA) - At least 78 PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists were "neutralized" in the last 24 hours of Turkey's ongoing Operation Olive Branch, the Turkish General Staff said early Thursday.
The statement also said that the Turkish Armed Forces destroyed 18 more terrorist targets in overnight airstrikes.
A total of 790 terrorists have been "neutralized" since the beginning of the operation on Jan. 20, the military added.
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 along with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to clear PYD/PKK 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 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.