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CORRECTS - Afrin operation sees another area cleared of PYD/PKK

CORRECTS - Afrin operation sees another area cleared of PYD/PKK
Corrects direction from northwest to northeast in lede

By Omer Koparan and Said Ibicioglu

AZAZ, Syria /ANKARA, Turkey (AA) - Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army cleared Mt. Ain al-Batman in Afrin's northeast of PYD/PKK terrorists on Wednesday.

The captured mountain marks the 27th location that has been cleared of terrorists since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch 12 days ago.

Turkish security sources in the region told Anadolu Agency that the operation to clear the mountain had been launched in the afternoon.

Earlier in the day, the village of Bak Ubasi and Mt. Kurni in Bulbul district north of Afrin were also cleared of terrorists by Turkish soldiers and FSA fighters.

Turkey on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and 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, the military said.

The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken 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.

source: News Feed
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