Turkish army chief inspects troops near Syrian border

Akar is accompanied by land and air forces chiefs

By Enes Kaplan

Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar on Sunday paid a visit to southern Hatay province to inspect troops taking part in Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin.

According to a statement by the Turkish General Staff, Akar was accompanied by Commander of the Turkish Land Forces Gen. Yasar Guler and Turkish Air Forces Commander Gen. Hasan Kucukakyuz.

They met the troops and were briefed regarding the ongoing operation.

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 to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

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 importance" is being put on avoiding harming 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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