By Sarp Ozer
AFRIN, Syria (AA) – Following its capture, a tunnel in Syria used by the terrorist PYD/PKK to launch attacks on Turkish soldiers was made available for journalist viewing by the Turkish army on Monday.
The terrorist tunnel, stretching 300 meters (nearly 1,000 feet) long, was seized by Turkish forces during their current Operation Olive Branch, launched on Jan. 20 with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
In addition to attacking Turkish soldiers, the terrorists also tried to hide from air raids in the concrete and sand tunnel, which has walls 90 centimeters (3 feet) thick, and measures 1.5 meters (5 feet) wide and 2 meters (6 feet) high.
The tunnel also has small bunkers for observation and attack, as well as sandbags, a kitchen area, and a TV with a satellite hookup.
As it entered its 10th day, the Turkish General Staff announced that at least 597 PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists have been "neutralized" since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch.
According to the 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 were being destroyed and that the "utmost importance and sensitivity" is being put on not harming civilians.
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.