UPDATES WITH THE LIBERATION OF DIWAN AL FAWQANI VILLAGE, CHANGES HEADLINE, DECK, UPDATES NUMBERS
By Burak Karacaoglu and Selen Temizer
AFRIN/ANKARA (AA) - The Turkish military and Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Thursday liberated five villages in northwestern Syria from PYD/PKK terrorists.
According to Anadolu Agency correspondents on the ground, the Turkish military and FSA liberated the village of Diwan Al Fawqani southwest of Afrin's Jindires district, including its three hills.
Earlier today, the villages of Karri, Sharbanli and Shadia, located northwest of the town of Rajo were liberated from PYD/PKK terrorists during Operation Olive Branch.
Additionally the village of Durakli located in the town of Bulbul in northern Afrin was also liberated earlier today during the operation.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
Since the beginning of the operation, 62 different strategic areas have been captured from the clutches of terrorists. They include a town center, 41 villages, three rural areas and 17 strategic mountains or hills.
According to the Turkish General Staff, Operation Olive Branch aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s 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 that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost care” is being taken to avoid harming 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 a fight.