By Burak Karacaoglu and Esref Musa
IDLIB, Syria (AA) - Turkish soldiers and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters took control of another strategic hill in northwestern Syria on Sunday as Turkey’s ongoing Operation Olive Branch in Afrin entered its16th day.
Located in the southern Raju township in western Afrin, Hill 1027 was captured, according to a security source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.
So far, 33 areas – among them 21 villages, settlements and 10 strategic mountains and hills located around Afrin – have been freed from the terror group.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch along with the FSA to clear out PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
As the operation entered the 16th day, the Turkish General Staff announced that at least 935 PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists had been "neutralized" since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria.
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 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, 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 importance and sensitivity" was being given to not harm any civilian.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012, when the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.