Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar held phone calls with U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Russian Armed Forces General Staff Gen. Valeriy Gerasimov before the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) launched Operation Olive Branch against terrorist groups in northerwestern Syria's Afrin, the military announced Saturday.
Operation Olive Branch, which complies with international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, was launched Saturday at 5:00 p.m. against terrorist groups such as the PKK and its affiliates KCK, PYD, YPG, and Daesh in the Afrin region to improve Turkey's national security and prevent a "terror corridor" from being formed along its southern border, the TSK said in a statement.
A total of 108 out of 113 previously identified terrorist targets in seven regions were hit during the operation by 72 Turkish warplanes, while ground troops located in Kilis province near the Syrian border supported Operation Olive Branch with howitzers, tank units and multiple rocket launchers.
The operation in Afrin – bordering Turkey's Hatay and Kilis provinces – was widely expected in the wake of Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, which cleared Daesh terrorists from Turkey's border between Aug. 24, 2016 and March 2017.
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