By Levent Tok and Said Ibicioglu
AZAZ, Syria (AA) - Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) units began securing and fortifying the strategic Mount Bursaya in northern Syria as part of the ongoing Operation Olive Branch.
The military forces on the ground are also detecting and destroying the trenches and tunnel systems built by the terrorists.
The activities at the strategic mountain against improvised explosive device (IED) and mined ambushes are being conducted by units led by the Turkish Armed Forces and the FSA.
III Corps of the FSA and Commando units of Turkish army are establishing safety lines to prevent possible terrorist attacks.
“The Turkish Armed Forces captured Mount Bursaya, as part of Operation Olive Branch. Activities continue to clear terrorists from the area,” said the General Staff in a statement on Sunday.
It said the strategic peak was captured by the Turkish military and FSA forces at around 2.30 p.m. local time (1130GMT) on Sunday.
The terrorist PYD/PKK has used Mount Bursaya to target civilians in the center of Turkey’s Kilis province and Syria’s Azaz district through mortar shells, artillery, and missiles.
The statement also stated that the operation, backed by air raids, attack helicopters, armed unmanned aerial vehicles, and land-based fire, was continuing successfully as planned.
The Bayraktar-brand armed unmanned aerial vehicles had conducted successful firing against entrances and bases of terrorist targets.
In the scope of operation towards Bursaya Mountain, Turkish military rescued a total of 18 positions -- including 13 villages and five strategic hills from terrorists.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to rid Afrin, northwestern Syria of PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.