By Mumin Altas
ANKARA (AA) - A total of 484 PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists have been "neutralized" since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region, the Turkish military said on Sunday.
The military generally uses the term "neutralize" to signify that the targets were killed.
According to a statement issued by the Turkish General Staff, the army “neutralized” 37 PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists so far on Sunday.
The statement said seven Turkish jets safely returned to their bases after destroying some targets -- used as weapon pits, shelters, and ammunition depots by the PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorist groups.
Operation Olive Branch is "successfully continuing as planned," it added.
The military said it is taking the utmost care to avoid harming any civilians during the operation.
On Jan. 20, Turkey 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 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.
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.