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Turkey says ‘neutralized’ over 300 militants in Afrin

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The Turkish military said Thursday that 303 Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) militants have been “neutralized” since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch on Saturday in the PYD-controlled Afrin region of Syria.

Turkey views the PYD as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, the Turkish military also stated that it had “destroyed six targets used as weapons pits, shelters and ammunition depots by PYD and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] terrorists.’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday said seven or eight Turkish soldiers have been killed since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch.

Turkey with Free Syrian Army forces took control of the Jarablus and Al Bab areas in northern Syria during an operation against ISIL militants between August 2016 and March 2017.

More than 70 soldiers were lost during Operation Euphrates Shield, which was evaluated as a strategic move to prevent unification of areas controlled by the Kurdish PYD.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 8 said Turkey would not allow a Kurdish corridor in Syria extending along the Turkish border to the Mediterranean.

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