During an interview with CNN Turk, Ilnur Cevik, an aide to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that the Turkish military operations dubbed Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch were conducted with support from Russia.
"Recently, Russia demonstrated high effectiveness of its actions, showing its brightest side. My personal estimation of this process — 10 out of 10. The Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations were conducted thanks to Russia's support. If Russia did not open the airspace, we would not only not be able to enter Afrin and Al-Bab, we would not be able even to take off a drone," he underscored.
In January 2018, Ankara, jointly with the opposition Free Syrian Army forces, launched Operation Olive Branch in Afrin in order to "clear" Turkey's Syrian border from the terrorist threat.
The operation was said to be an offensive against the Kurdish-led Democratic Union Party in Syria (PYD), its armed wing People's Protection Units (YPG), and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) positions surrounding the Syrian city of Afrin.
Turkey considers both the PYD and the YPG to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara.
Another military campaign, dubbed Operation Euphrates Shield was a 2016-2017 cross-border operation by the Turkish military and Turkey-aligned Syrian opposition groups in the Syrian Civil War, officially aimed against Daesh militants allegedly threatening Turkish security.
Turkish forces and allied opposition groups fought against Daesh, as well as the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Defense Forces. On 29 March 2017, the Turkish military officials announced that Operation Euphrates Shield was ″successfully completed.″