UPDATES WITH NUMBER OF TERRORIST 'NEUTRALIZED', TARGETS HIT SO FAR, NUMBER OF MARTYRED AND WOUNDED SOLDIERS
By Ali Kemal Akan
ANKARA (AA) - A total of 899 PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists have been "neutralized" since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin region on Jan. 20, according to the Turkish General Staff on Saturday.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
In a statement by the Turkish General Staff it said that a total of 538 terrorist targets were also hit since the beginning of the Operation Oliven Branch.
The statement said that since the beginning of the operation 13 Turkish soldiers had been martyred and 57 wounded.
Earlier on Saturday, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement that the Turkish Armed Forces had destroyed 15 terrorist targets and neutralized 74 terrorists in overnight airstrikes.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern 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 reiterated that only terror targets were being destroyed and that "utmost care" was being taken to avoid harming civilians.