By Sarp Ozer
ANKARA (AA) - The ammunition being used by Turkish military in Operation Olive Branch is all domestically made, said the country’s defense minister on Sunday.
“All the ammunition our glorious army uses in Afrin Operation is domestically produced,” Nurettin Canikli wrote on his twitter account.
Canikli also said the ammunition stock is enough to clear terror elements from not just Afrin, but from the entire region. He added that the production of the ammunition continues.
Giving an example, he noted that ammunitions used in howitzer, called Firtina (Storm), are produced by MKEK - Mechanical and Chemical Industry Company.
The Minister said Turkey used to purchase weapon systems and ammunition from abroad 15 years ago but now the country produces them domestically.
He noted that 70 percent of the country’s weapons are domestically made which was 18 percent 15 years ago.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin. The operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists, stated the Turkish General Staff.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council’s decisions, self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost importance" is being given to not harm 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.