Turkish Armed Forces capture strategic Bursaya mountain in northern Syria’s Afrin. The YPG/PKK have used the mountain previously to launch mortar shells and missiles into Kilis in Turkey and Azaz in Syria, Anadolu Agency reports.

Turkish Army officers stand next to their tank on the border with Syria, January 22, 2018.
Turkish Army officers stand next to their tank on the border with Syria, January 22, 2018. ( AP )

Scattered celebrations could be seen in Turkey's city of Diyarbakir as the Turkish army launched Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin. But the operation is still in its early stages.

Troops and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) kicked off an accompanying ground operation on Sunday. Turkey says it wants to secure its border by pushing out the YPG from Afrin and eventually Manbij in Syria. Ankara considers the YPG to be an affiliate of the PKK, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by the US, Turkey, and the European Union.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey was not eyeing Syrian territories and clarified that the ongoing operation in Syria's Afrin region would end as soon as its objective was met.

There are some reports of civilians fleeing Afrin. Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says the aim is to form a 30-kilometre-deep safe zone in Afrin, from the border with Turkey, heading south, for the Syrians who choose to remain.

TRT World's Courtney Kealy has more on Operation Olive Branch and its potential to expand further east of the Euphrates River into YPG/PKK territory.

Source: TRT World