3,820 terrorists ‘neutralized’ in Afrin op

A total of 3,820 terrorists have been "neutralized" since the start of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin region, the Turkish military said in a statement on Saturday.

The General Staff said 52 Turkish soldiers were martyred while 229 soldiers were wounded since the beginning of the Afrin operation.

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

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 terrorist organization 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.

The army said at least 90 terrorists were "neutralized" in Turkey's eastern Bitlis and Bingol, and southeastern Diyarbakir and Mardin provinces, and in northern Iraq from March 24-30.

The military added that the forces also seized a large amount of ammunition including, rifles, rocket projectors, grenades, ammonium nitrate, C-4 explosive, during the operations.

Also, 67 explosives were seized and destroyed, while 5,572 undocumented migrants who were trying to enter the country were held, the statement added.

Four Turkish soldiers were also martyred, while 10 others sustained injuries during the operations, the military added.

Source: Anadolu Agency