By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet
ANKARA (AA) - The Turkish prime minister said Wednesday that 214 targets were hit and destroyed in total as part of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin area.
Speaking in a joint news conference with his Nigerien counterpart Brigi Rafini in Ankara, Binali Yildirim said the operation continued as planned.
"214 targets were hit and neutralized. Clearing operations in the area are ongoing," Yildirim said.
The military generally uses the term "neutralize" to signify that targets were killed.
He added that the operation would continue until the area is completely cleared of terror groups like the PYD/YPG/PKK and Daesh.
On Saturday, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria, on Turkey’s border.
According to the Turkish General Staff, 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.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, and its right to self-defense under the UN charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military also said "utmost importance" is being placed on not harming 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.