Turkey, World, Middle East

Turkish army says Afrin under ‘complete’ control

Efforts in progress to help civilians return home, says Turkish General Staff

24.03.2018
Turkish army says Afrin under ‘complete’ control

Ankara

By Sarp Ozer and Muhammed Boztepe

ANKARA

Syria’s Afrin region has been taken under “complete” control as part of Turkish-led Operation Olive Branch, the Turkish military said on Saturday.

In a statement, Turkish General Staff said efforts are in progress to help civilians return home in a secure way.

Turkish troops have also been continuing efforts to search and destroy hand-made explosives and mines planted by the terrorists around the region.

Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats from the region.

On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated the town of Afrin, which had been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since 2012.

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 "utmost care" is being taken to not harm civilians.

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