By Yasemin Kalyoncuoglu
ANKARA (AA) – A Turkish soldier was martyred in Syria’s northwestern region of Afrin as Turkish-led Operation Olive Branch continues in the region, the military said on Sunday.
The soldier was martyred on Saturday during operations targeting YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, a Turkish Armed Forces statement said, without giving further information.
A total of 2,018 PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists have been "neutralized" since the launch of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's northwestern Afrin region, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on Sunday.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/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 also said only terror targets were being destroyed and that "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.