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Turkish army chief inspects troops in border provinces

TURKISH ARMY CHIEF INSPECTS TROOPS IN BORDER PROVINCES

Turkey's Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar on Saturday paid a visit to bordering provinces of Şanlıurfa, Hatay and Kilis to inspect troops, which are 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. Yaşar Güler.

Akar and Güler met the troops and their commanders and got briefing regarding the ongoing operation.

Gen. Akar also visited the Çalık Mosque in Kilis to inspect the damage caused by a rocket attack during evening prayers on Wednesday that left eight civilians injured.

The rocket was fired by PYD/PKK terrorists from Syria.

Later, Akar also visited the area where another rocket hit a building in the border province of Kilis on Saturday, the statement added.

The Turkish cities of Kilis and Hatay across the Syrian border are within the firing range of the PYD/PKK terrorist group from Afrin.

Earlier, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement that 42 targets of PYD/PKK and Daesh in Syria's Afrin had been destroyed during the "Operation Olive Branch" on Saturday.

The operation was being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council's decisions, self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect to Syria's territorial integrity, the military added.

The military also said only terrorist targets were being destroyed and "utmost importance" was being given to not harm any civilian.

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 putting up a fight.

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