ADDS GENERAL STAFF STATEMENT
By Diyar Guldogan
ANKARA (AA) - At least 287 PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists have been neutralized since the beginning of the Operation Olive Branch in Syria, the Turkish General Staff said Wednesday.
Turkey on Saturday launched the military operation to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, in northwestern Syria.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" to imply the terrorists in question surrendered, were killed or captured.
Turkish Armed Forces conducted airstrikes on shelters, positions, arms and equipment of the terrorists between 9 a.m. (0600GMT) and 1.51 p.m. (1051GMT) Wednesday, the military said in a statement.
Forty-seven terrorist targets were destroyed in total, the statement added.
The bodies of two Turkish soldiers martyred Tuesday during clashes with terrorists, could not be recovered because of clashes and inclement weather.
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 only terror targets are being destroyed and the "utmost importance" is being placed on not harming civilians.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012, when the Bashar Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.