IDLIB/ANKARA (AA) - Turkish fighter jets on Saturday hit 108 targets of the PYD/PKK terrorist organization as part of Turkey’s military operation in northwestern Syrian city of Afrin on Saturday, security officials said.
As part of the Operation Olive Branch, Turkish army hits 108 out of 113 identified PYD/PKK targets in Afrin as of 6.30 p.m. local time (1530GMT), said the officials, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.
The Minnigh military airbase occupied by terrorist group PYD/PKK in Afrin was among the targets hit by Turkish jets, they said, adding all injured and dead taken to the hospital belong to PYD/PKK terrorist group.
Meanwhile, civilians in Afrin got an opportunity to flee from the captivity of the PYD/PKK terrorists following Turkey’s air campaign. They fled towards Aleppo, the officials said.
However, PYD / PKK terrorists, in agreement with Bashar al-Assad regime forces, closed the road from Afrin to Aleppo in a bid to use civilians as human shield.
Thus, the terrorist group aims to spread a propaganda campaign claiming that “civilians are being targeted”.
It was also learned that the civilians in the Afrin city center are concealed themselves in homes, and some of the terrorists of the PYD/PKK are entering the houses in civilian clothes.
Turkish military aircraft bombed several targets of the PYD/PKK in Afrin including PYD/PKK observation points in Jalama, Himdia, Hajlar, Fraria and Tal Sallur villages across Turkish border line as of 4:00 p.m. local time (1300GMT).
Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the launch of Afrin operation against the terrorist groups.
The Turkish General staff also announced that the "Operation Olive Branch" has been started on Jan. 20, 2018 at 5 p.m. "to establish security and stability on our borders and region, to eliminate terrorists of PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh, and to save our friends and brothers… from their [the terrorists’] oppression and cruelty."
“The operation is being conducted under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council’s decisions especially no. 1624 (2005), 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014) and as per the self-defense right under 51th item of UN charter, while being respectful to Syria’s territorial integrity," said the military.
The statement said the operation will also take sensitivity into account and no civilian/innocent person would be harmed.