By Burak Karacaoglu, Esref Musa, Adham Kako, Levent Tok and Omer Koparan
AFRIN, Syria / ANKARA, Turkey
The Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Wednesday liberated twelve more villages and a hill from terrorists during Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region.
According to Anadolu Agency correspondents in the field, the villages of Goz, Kafr Dali al Fawqani, Ma’arratah and Shadir in Afrin, the Julakan and Kuran villages in Jinderes district, Kuri Kul in Bulbul district, a hill and the village of Satyan in Mabatli district were cleared of YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists.
Later on Wednesday, Deir Mashmash, Hulilu, and Gazaviye villages in Afrin, and Gevrika in Jinderes district were also liberated.
Since the launch of the operation, the Turkish military and FSA fighters have liberated 233 locations, including five town centers, 194 villages, 39 strategic mountains and hills, and one YPG/PKK base.
According to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the operation has liberated almost 1,300 square kilometers from the terrorist threat.
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.