By Sinan Uslu
The strategic foresight and high-tech domestic weapons used by Turkish Armed Forces played an important role in the success of the Turkish-led Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s Afrin region, security experts say.
On Sunday, the Turkish troops and Free Syrian Army fighters took control of the Afrin town center as part of the operation, which was launched on Jan. 20 to clear the area of YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists.
A total of 3,622 terrorists have been "neutralized" since the beginning of the operation, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday.
Security experts say that YPG/PKK terrorists fled the town center without showing any resistance when they took into account that they were not able to resist Turkish Armed Forces together with FSA.
Around 5,000-6,000 terrorists, who were in the Afrin’s town center, fled to Manbij, Hasakah, Raqqah, Tal Rifat and northern Aleppo, said Abdullah Agar, Turkey’s well-known security expert.
“… Some members of PKK are now laying down their weapons and maintaining their presence in Afrin,” he said.
One of the important reasons behind the success of Turkish Armed Forces during the Operation Olive Branch is the strategic intelligence that they used successfully in the field, Agar said.
He also underlined the importance of using domestic and high-tech weapons during the operation.
Sustainability of operation
“Sophisticated weapons systems and high-tech weapons that we used have been the most important force multiplier of the operation.”
Another security expert Murat Aslan also holds similar views with Agar.
The domestically-made weapons -- which have decreased the dependence on foreign countries -- played an important role in sustainability of the operation, said Aslan.
“They [terrorists] thought that they were able to fight with Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army as a regular army.”
However, he added, Turkish Armed Forces eliminated them using all the possibilities including diplomacy in a best way possible.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats posed from the region.
According to the Turkish General Staff, Operation Olive Branch has aimed to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.
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 care" is being taken to avoid harming any civilians.