On February 23, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkish forces had seized 415 km2 and had neutralized over 1,800 ‘terrorists’ since the start of Operation Olive Branch in the Syrian area of Afrin on January 20.
“We have neutralized 1,873 terrorists and have an area of 415 square kilometers under our control,” Erdogan said at a meeting with provincial heads of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in Ankara. “The operation will continue with a new strategy once Afrin’s city center is surrounded, which will soon happen, and the terrorists are cut off from outside contact.”
The president claimed that the operation’s speed will increase and then continued:
“We will first clear Manbij from terrorists, and then will continue on our way until we make all of the west of the Euphrates safe for us and our Syrian brothers.”
Earlier on the same day, the Turkish General Staff said that Turkish forces had neutralized 1,873 ‘terrorists’ since the start of the operation in Afrin.