ANKARA (AA) - At least 287 PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists have been neutralized since the beginning of the Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria on Saturday, the Turkish military has said.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" to imply the terrorists in question surrendered, were killed or captured.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin region.
The operation, which is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, is aimed at establishing security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protecting Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty, according to the Turkish General Staff.
The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed, and "utmost diligence" is being shown to avoid collateral damage to the civilian population.
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.
The operation led by Turkish Armed Forces in collaboration with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) continues despite landmines laid down by 8,000 to 10,000 terrorists.
On its first day, Turkish forces hit more than a hundred PYD/PKK targets which were tracked down by intelligence units.
On the second day of the operation, the Turkish military and FSA launched a ground operation and entered into Afrin from the northern, northwestern and western sides.
On the third day, a new front opened in opposition-held Azaz city located east of Afrin as Turkish soldiers and FSA fighters continued to advance.
-Terrorists attack civilians
On the fourth day, the army moved into Jinderis region where the terrorists launched an assault on Kilis, a Turkish province bordering Syria. The military said 214 terrorist targets were hit.
The terror group in Afrin started launching attacks on civilians living in border provinces of Turkey by firing rockets and targeting civilians.
Seventeen rockets landed in Kilis and eight others hit Hatay provinces killing three civilians and injuring 50, including three children.
Black propaganda against the Turkish military began soon after Turkey launched the operation with supporters of the PYD/PKK terrorist organization posting fake and distorted photographs on social media, pretending they were recently shot in Afrin.
In the last three days, at least 10 pictures shared by pro-PYD/PKK accounts on social media supposedly about Afrin operation turned out to be old photographs that were taken during different incidents in the past.
All the claims were false and the pictures were actually captured even before the Operation Olive Branch began.
Some accounts posting such fake news and images were shut down after Anadolu Agency did a story on them.
Nonetheless, the black propaganda of PKK/PYD members and their supporters has continued online against the Turkish military and its Operation Olive Branch in Afrin.
The PYD/PKK terror group is occupying one-fourth of Syria and 65 percent of Syria-Turkey border.