Turkey, Free Syrian Army take complete control of Afrin

Turkish forces enter Afrin town center without encountering any resistance from terrorists / Turkey, Free Syrian Army take complete control of Afrin.

Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Sunday took complete control of northwestern Syria’s Afrin town center, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Sunday.

“Afrin town center was completely taken control of at 8.30 a.m.,” Erdogan said during his address at the ceremony of 103rd anniversary of Gallipoli Campaign.

“We will have to take necessary steps to rebuild Afrin, raise infrastructure and wipe out traces of terrorists,” he said, adding: “Turkish, Free Syrian Army’s flags are hoisted in Afrin town center.”

“We are not there to occupy but to wipe out terror groups and to achieve peace in Afrin,” Erdogan added.

Turkish General Staff, in a written statement, said search for mines, improvised explosive devices are in progress in the town.

Turkey on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch 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 protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.

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 avoid harming any civilians.

Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012, when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without a fight.

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