UPDATES WITH MORE VILLAGES LIBERATED, CHANGES HEAD, SPOT, LEDE
By Selen Temizer and Burak Karacaoglu
AFRIN, Syria /ANKARA (AA) - Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) liberated eight more villages from YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists on Sunday as part of Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria’s Afrin.
The village of "Omranli" in Sharran, northeasth of Afrin, and the villages of Meydan Akbis and "Bandira" in Bulbul, northwest of Afrin were cleared of YPG/PKK-Daesh, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents on the ground.
The villages of Shaykh Muhammad, Kunda Dudu, Samalik, "Velikli" and "Kavanda" in the Rajo area, located northwest of Afrin, were cleared of all terrorists in the morning hours.
Since the launch of the operation on Jan. 20, Turkish military and the FSA liberated 112 locations including one center of a district, 84 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 Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the 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’s decisions, self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost importance" is being given to not harm 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.