By Ilkay Guder
At least 343 PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists have been neutralized since the beginning of the Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria, the military said Thursday.
Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from 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.
Turkish Armed Forces carried out airstrikes on the shelters, positions, arms, and equipment of the terrorists, according to a General Staff statement.
All 14 aircraft returned to their bases after hitting 25 terrorist targets, the statement added.
According to the military, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish 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 importance" is being put on not harming 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.