Civilians greet and show hospitality to Turkish soldiers and the Free Syrian Army members after they cleared the YPG terror group from the Afrin town centre on Sunday.

A local resident welcomes Free Syrian Army member in town centre after Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) took complete control of northwestern Syria's Afrin within the
A local resident welcomes Free Syrian Army member in town centre after Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) took complete control of northwestern Syria's Afrin within the "Operation Olive Branch" on March 18, 2018. (AA)

Locals in northwestern Syria's Afrin on Sunday welcomed Turkish Armed Forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) with open arms.

Turkish forces took complete control of Afrin town centre early Sunday morning as part of the Operation Olive Branch.

A local resident kisses a Free Syrian Army (FSA) member after the Turkish military and the FSA cleared the area of the YPG  on March 18, 2018.
A local resident kisses a Free Syrian Army (FSA) member after the Turkish military and the FSA cleared the area of the YPG on March 18, 2018. (AA)

Civilians waved to the Turkish and FSA troops and chanted slogans in their support.

Many drove their cars to the town centre where they gathered and honked to celebrate the victory.

A Free Syrian Army member kisses an old woman in Afrin, Syria, on March 18, 2018.
A Free Syrian Army member kisses an old woman in Afrin, Syria, on March 18, 2018. (Reuters)

Anadolu Agency correspondents in the region saw several buildings and vehicles which had been set ablaze by terrorists.

After taking control, Turkish soldiers and FSA fighters destroyed photos and rags left behind by the PKK-affiliated YPG.

Security forces are searching houses to capture any terrorists who are hiding among civilians.

A local resident offers tea to Free Syrian Army members in Afrin, Syria, on March 18, 2018.
A local resident offers tea to Free Syrian Army members in Afrin, Syria, on March 18, 2018. (AA)

Turkey on January 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to remove the YPG and 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 protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.

A local resident makes v sign as he greets Free Syrian Army members in Afrin town center on March 18, 2018.
A local resident makes v sign as he greets Free Syrian Army members in Afrin town center on March 18, 2018. (AA)

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.

A Syrian baby looks Turkish soldiers and FSA members in Afrin, Syria, on March 18, 2018.
A Syrian baby looks Turkish soldiers and FSA members in Afrin, Syria, on March 18, 2018. (AA)

The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming any civilians.

Afrin has been a major hideout for the YPG - the Syrian branch of PKK - since July 2012, when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without a fight.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies