Turkey "neutralised" more than 2,000 terrorists in Afrin
Turkey’s armed forces said that more than 2,000 terrorists had been “neutralised” in northern Syria’s Afrin region in operations that began on Jan. 20.
The number of dead and fighters who have surrendered totalled 2,059, including 41 in the most recent hostilities, the army said in a statement on its website on Monday. The toll includes members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the PYD and Islamic State (ISIS), but it did not provide a breakdown.
Turkey has denied reports from inside Afrin that large numbers of civilians have been killed in its offensive and says only what it calls terrorist targets have been destroyed. The operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty, the military said. Turkey is acting against the Syrian Kurdish forces in line with its rights to self-defence under United Nations charters, it said.
The United States and European Union had opposed the military incursion saying it threatened to further destabilise Syria and detract from the war on ISIS.