UPDATES WITH NUMBER OF VILLAGES LIBERATED
By Said Ibicioglu, Levent Tok, Burak Karacaoglu and Esref Musa
AFRIN, Syria / ISTANBUL, Turkey (AA) - The Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Tuesday liberated seven more villages from terrorists during Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region.
According to Anadolu Agency correspondents in the field, the villages of Maghar Juqq and Darmashkanli in Shaykh al-Hadid district, located west of Afrin, were cleared of YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists.
Later on Tuesday, Ma’sar Juqq village in Mabatli district, Shaykh Abdurrahman, Kila and Qarah Bash in Jinderes, and Kafr Dali at-Tahtani in the Afrin district were also liberated.
Since the launch of the operation, the Turkish military and FSA have liberated 217 locations, including five town centers, 182 villages, 37 strategic mountains and hills, and one YPG/PKK base.
According to Bekir Bozdag on Monday, deputy prime minister and government spokesperson, the operation has liberated a total of 1,102 square kilometers from the terrorist threat.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-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 are being destroyed and that "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.