By Levent Tok and Adham Kako
AZAZ, Syria (AA) - Turkish military and Free Syrian Army cleared another village of PYD/PKK terrorists in northwestern Syria near the Turkish border on Wednesday.
According to an Anadolu Agency correspondent in the region, a joint operation was launched in the village of Qude in the northwest of Afrin.
Since the beginning of the operation, Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army have captured 54 different strategic areas from terrorists, including a town center, three rural areas and 36 villages.
Turkey on Jan 20. launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh 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 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 terrorist targets were being destroyed and "utmost importance" was being put on avoiding harm to civilians.
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 a fight.