Turkey's Afrin operation, Syria discussed in security meeting chaired by Erdoğan

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Turkey's Operation Olive Branch launched against the Democratic Union Party's (PYD) People's Protection Units (YPG) militia and Daesh terrorists in Afrin, recent developments in Syria and the war against terror were discussed late Tuesday in a security meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the Presidential Complex in Ankara.

Turkey, with the support of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 with the stated aim of clearing YPG and Daesh terrorists from Syria's northwestern city of Afrin.

Since the operation began, the YPG has carried out several cross-border attacks on Turkey, firing rockets into residential neighborhoods.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the ongoing operation aims to secure northern Syria's border region with Turkey and protect the civilian population from YPG terrorists.

The operation is being carried out in line with international law; past U.N. Security Council resolutions; the right to self-defense as enshrined in the U.N. charter; and respect for Syria's territorial integrity.

The Turkish military has stressed that only terrorist sites and positions are being targeted while the "utmost importance" has been attached to avoiding civilian casualties.

Afrin has been a stronghold for the YPG since mid-2012 when Assad regime forces withdrew from the area allowing the terrorist group to fill the vacuum.

The YPG and PYD are the Syrian affiliates of the PKK, a designated terror group by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.