By Levent Tok and Burak Karacaoglu
After Turkish and Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces cut off the access of terrorists in Afrin, Syria to the Turkish border, opposition-held areas in northern Syria were also connected in a crescent-shaped corridor on Monday.
The village of Karmanluk in Shaykh al-Hadid, northwest of the city of Afrin, and the upper and lower parts of the village of Senare were cleared of terrorists as part of Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region on Monday.
With the newly liberated land, a crescent-shape corridor stretching along the northwestern Idlib province and the Aleppo province’s Azaz district reconnected two areas held by Syrian opposition forces.
In February 2016, the connection between Idlib and northern Aleppo was cut after the Assad regime captured the Aleppo highway, which also goes to Turkey’s southeastern Kilis province, and another highway along the towns of Qabasin and Ratyan, north of Aleppo.
Reconnecting the opposition-held Idlib and the area under FSA control backed by Turkish army should also strengthen Turkey’s border security.
Those reconnected opposition-held areas will help Turkey’s fight against terrorism.
Since the launch of the operation on Jan. 20, the Turkish military and the FSA have liberated 115 locations, including one district center, 87 villages, 20 strategic mountains and hills, and one YPG/PKK base.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch 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 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, 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 care" is being taken to avoiding harming civilians.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without a fight.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.