By Burak Karacaoglu, Esref Musa, Levent Tok, Selen Temizer and Adham Kako
Turkish military and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) liberated another town center in Syria’s Afrin region from terrorists on Thursday during the ongoing Operation Olive Branch.
Jinderes town center, located in the southwest of Afrin, was cleared of terrorists following fierce street fighting with terrorists, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents on the ground; however, search for terrorists continues in the liberated neighborhoods.
The move came after Turkish Armed Forces and the FSA freed Jinderes Hill on Wednesday.
While heavy street fighting between the FSA and terrorists continues, armed drones of Turkish Armed Forces were targeting terrorists trying to escape from the area.
Meanwhile, aerial images taken by Anadolu Agency in Jinderes show that the town had been evacuated by the YPG/PKK terrorist group.
Surrounded by large farming grounds, the town seems to be largely desolate in the footage.
Local sources told Anadolu Agency the terrorist organization had transferred civilians in Jinderes to Afrin’s city center to use them as human shields.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said the terrorist organization had planted mines around Jinderes and set up traps in the town center using improvised explosives.
The YPG/PKK could show resistance in the town center with the remaining terrorists, whose exact number is unknown, and with the mines and traps, the sources added.
Since the launch of Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20, the Turkish military and the Free Syrian Army have liberated 157 locations, including five town centers, 122 villages, 30 strategic areas, and one YPG/PKK base.
Jinderes is the fifth town center in Afrin region to have been liberated from terrorists.
Turkey launched the operation to remove 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 protect Syrians people 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.