By Ozcan Yildirim
ANKARA (AA) - A soldier was martyred on Monday during clashes with terrorist groups in northwestern Syria as part of Operation Olive Branch, the Turkish military said.
According to a Turkish General Staff statement, a clash between the Turkish Armed Forces and the terrorist groups PKK, KCK, PYD/YPG and Daesh took place southeast of the Turkish village of Gulbaba, just across the Syrian border.
In the statement, the General Staff conveyed its condolences to the families and friends of the martyred soldier.
Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Syria's Afrin.
According to the 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 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 putting up a fight.
Cross-border attacks by PYD/PKK terror group in southern Turkey started as Turkish army operation in Syria’s northwestern town of Afrin continues.