UPDATES WITH 3 ADDITIONAL VILLAGES LIBERATED; UPDATES HEADLINE, LEDE
By Burak Karacaoglu, Levent Tok and Esref Musa
IDLIB, Syria / ANKARA, Turkey (AA) - Turkish military and Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Thursday liberated eight more villages from YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists as part of their ongoing operation in Afrin, northwestern Syria.
The village of Tal Dilor in Jinderes, southwest Afrin, was cleared of terrorists, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents on the ground.
The villages of Ali Raju and Miqdad in Bulbul, northern Afrin, were also liberated, said another correspondent.
The villages of Rahmanli and Sari Ushagi in Raju district, western Afrin were also liberated.
Later on Thursday, Zahra, Upper Qorgan and Lower Qorgan villages in the town of Shaykh al-Hadid, western Afrin, were also freed.
Since the launch of the operation on Jan. 20, the Turkish military and the FSA liberated 99 targets -- including one district center -- 71 villages, 20 strategic mountains and hills, and one YPG/PKK-Daesh base.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove 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 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.