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Turkish army chief vows to defeat terrorists in Afrin


Turkey's army chief on Friday vowed to continue Turkish-led Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, northwestern Syria, until all terrorists are defeated, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

 

Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar paid a visit to the southern border provinces of Hatay and Kilis Friday to inspect troops taking part in the ongoing counterterrorist campaign across the border in northwestern Syria.

 

Akar was accompanied by the commanders of the Turkish Land, Air and Naval Forces, Gens. Yasar Guler, Hasan Kucukakyuz and Adnan Ozbal.

 

Akar vowed to rout all terrorists in the region.

 

He reiterated that the utmost care was being taken to avoid harming innocent civilians and the environment.

 

Turkey on Jan. 20 launched the operation to remove PYD/PKK and 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 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 PYD/PKK since July 2012, when the Bashar al-Assad regime left the city to the terror group without a fight.

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