President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday that 4,108 terrorists have been neutralized during Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria’s Afrin.
Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated Afrin town center, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since 2012.
Turkey to open new Afrin border crossing in May
Turkey will open a new border crossing to the northwestern Syrian city of Afrin in May, Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci told Anadolu Agency Wednesday.Tufenkci said: “We plan to open the customs gate by mid-May.””Our work for the customs gate is still continuing…Our works will end soon.”He said the gate would speed up the delivery of humanitarian aid to Afrin and meet the infrastructure needs of the region.Olive Branch border gate to be ‘more than just customs crossing’”The gate will also contribute to development of trade there,” he said.The Customs and Trade Ministry and the Hatay Governor’s office in southern Turkey have agreed to open the crossing near the village of Hamam in Kumlu.The village is located near Jinderes, Afrin, which was liberated by Turkish Armed Forces and the Free Syrian Army fighters during Operation Olive Branch, which was launched on Jan. 20 to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from the area.
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 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 resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria’s territorial integrity, it said.
The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and that “utmost care” is being taken to avoid harming civilians.