Turkish forces and Free Syrian Army on Friday cleared four more villages of terrorists and took control of a strategic dam, reaching Afrin city's border during Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria, the Turkish military announced.
According to Anadolu Agency correspondents on the ground, Turkish troops and FSA cleared Hallubi Kabir village in Afrin's northeast from the PKK-linked People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorist group, and took control of a dam which provides water to Azaz and Afrin regions.
The western part of the dam, however, is still under control of terrorists.
The dam, known as April 17 Dam, is the only source that provides clean water and electricity to Afrin.
Later in the day, Kurt Farmez village was cleared in the Jandaris district.
Since the beginning of the operation, the Turkish military and the Free Syrian Army have liberated 161 locations, including five town centers, 124 villages and 31 strategic areas.
The military also said Friday that 3,149 terrorists have been "neutralized" since the beginning of the operation.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) uses the term "neutralized" in reference to terrorists captured dead or alive, or those who surrendered during the operations. However, the term is usually used for the terrorists who were killed in the operations.
Operation Olive Branch was launched by Turkey on Jan. 20 to remove the PKK/PYD/YPG/KCK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and in the region as well as to protect Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights within international law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its right to self-defense under the U.N. charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military also said, "utmost importance" is being placed on not harming any civilians.
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