Turkey

Turkey neutralizes over 4,500 terrorists in Afrin: Army

54 Turkish soldiers were martyred and 236 others injured during Operation Olive Branch in Afrin

06.07.2018
Turkey neutralizes over 4,500 terrorists in Afrin: Army

By Kemal Karadag and Baris Gundogan

ANKARA

A total of 4,519 terrorists have been “neutralized” since the start of the Turkey-led Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin region, according to the Turkish army on Friday.

Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

In a weekly statement, the Turkish General Staff said 54 Turkish soldiers have also been martyred while 236 others were injured during the operation in Afrin.

Also, 247 mines and 1,301 improvised explosives were destroyed during the operation.

Turkey on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin. On March 18, Turkish troops and Free Syrian Army liberated the Afrin district center.

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 the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

Separately, the Turkish army said it had neutralized 49 terrorists during anti-terror operations in Turkey and northern Iraq over the last week.

The operations were conducted in the southeastern Kahramanmaras, Sirnak, Hakkari, Diyarbakir, Mardin and eastern Agri provinces, as well as in northern Iraq between June 29 and July 5, it added.

During the anti-terror operations, 15 weapons including infantry rifles and flame throwers were seized; eight weapon emplacements and shelters were also destroyed.

The statement also said four soldiers were injured within this period.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people.

The PYD/YPG are Syrian branches of the terrorist PKK and the focus of Turkey's successful counter-terrorist Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria, near the border with Turkey.

The statement also said Turkish and the U.S. army had conducted 10 separate coordinated patrols in the area between the Operation Euphrates Shield region and Manbij since June 18, when the first patrols by Turkish and U.S. troops in the region began.

A deal between Turkey and the U.S. has focused on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from Manbij in order to stabilize the region.

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