Later on Saturday, four more villages — the villages of Kafr Rum and Qurt Qulaq in the northeastern Sharan district, Zellaka in the southwestern Jinderes district, and Kfar Zeit in Afrin’s city center — were liberated by the Turkish military and FSA forces.

Since the beginning of the operation, the Turkish military and Free Syrian Army have liberated 171 locations, including five town centers, 135 villages, 31 strategic areas, and one YPG/PKK base.

On Friday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkish-backed troops had surrounded the Afrin city center and were ready to enter at any moment.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

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 “utmost care” was being taken to not harm civilians.