By Ozcan Yildirim
ANKARA (AA) - Operation Olive Branch will continue "until the last terrorist is neutralized," said Turkey’s army chief on Monday.
"We are here to protect our country's rights within the scope of international law, without harming civilians or property," said Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar inspecting troops in the southern province of Hatay's Serinyol district, with the land, navy and air force commanders.
"The operation will continue until the last terrorist is neutralized," said Akar, in a video of the visit made available by the Turkish General Staff.
The army chief also said there are not only PYD/PKK and YPG elements in the region, but also the Daesh terrorist group.
"We are trying to make sure that our oppressed brothers and sisters in Afrin have peace," he said.
Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as 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 it is putting the "utmost importance" on not harming any civilian.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.