By Adham Khako
The Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Sunday liberated five villages and a mountain from YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists and took control of a town center during Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region.
The village of Haji Khalil in Rajo, located northwest of Afrin, has been cleared of the terrorists, Anadolu Agency correspondents on the field reported.
Also, Shaykh al-Hadid, located in west of Afrin, has become the third town center liberated since the launch of the operation. Bulbul and Rajo town centers were previously liberated.
Later on Sunday, four more villages and a mountain were liberated. They include: Bafliun village and its mountain in the Sharan district, Hulilu village in Rajo, Souuldjouk and Araendi villages in Shaykh al-Hadid district.
Since Feb. 26, a crescent-shaped corridor, stretching along northwestern Idlib province and Aleppo province’s Azaz district, has cut terrorists’ connection with Turkey’s border.
Since the launch of the operation, Turkish military and the FSA liberated 134 locations including three town centers, 102 villages, 22 strategic mountains and hills and one YPG/PKK base.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
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 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 also said only terror targets are being destroyed and that "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.