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Turkish army defuses 650 IEDs, 80 landmines in Afrin

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AFRIN, 31 Mar 2018 [Fik/News Sources]: Turkish military has defused nearly 650 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and 80 landmines since the start of Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria's Afrin, according to military sources.

Soldiers and sniffer dogs are taking part in the search for explosives, said the sources who refused to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Turkish forces continue to search for more IEDs and landmines to make possible the safe return of people to their homes, the sources added.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-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 also said only terror targets are being destroyed and that "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.

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