UPDATES WITH GENERAL STAFF STATEMENT
By Sinan Uslu
ANKARA (AA) - At least 260 PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists have been neutralized since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria, Turkish General Staff said Tuesday.
In a statement, the military said Turkey carried out this operation under international law and Article 51 of the UN Charter and respecting Syrian territorial integrity.
It added the operation targets terrorists and their shelters, positions, arms and equipment. Precautions were being taken to prevent civilians and innocents from being harmed in the operation.
It also said the number of martyred soldiers increased to three after a soldier was martyred during clashes with terrorists in the operation. It added one soldier was also injured in the clash.
Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
According to the military, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as 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 has also said it is putting "utmost importance" 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.