By Kubra Chohan
ANKARA (AA) - At least 394 PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists have been "neutralized" since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region, the Turkish military said Saturday.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
The Turkish Armed Forces also destroyed 340 targets -- among them weapon pits, shelters, and ammunition depots -- of PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists since the beginning of the operation, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement.
The military reiterated that it is taking the utmost care during the operation to not harm any civilians.
"The only things being targeted are terrorists, and any shelters, pits, weapons, vehicles, and equipment that belong to them," it said.
Operation Olive Branch is "successfully continuing as planned," the military added.
During the operation, three Turkish soldiers have been martyred and 30 injured, while 13 members of the Turkey’s local ally the Free Syrian Army have been martyred and 24 injured.
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 Turkish 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.
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.