By Levent Tok and Omer Koparan
AZAZ/ANKARA (AA) – Turkish and Free Syrian Army forces liberated the village of Durakli in northern Afrin on Thursday, during Operation Olive Branch, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents on the ground.
The village is located in the town of Bulbul in northern Afrin.
Including Durakli, since the beginning of the operation, 55 different strategic areas have been captured from the clutches of terrorists, among them a town center, 37 villages, three rural areas and 14 strategic mountains or hills.
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 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 has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost care” is being taken to avoid harming 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 a fight.