Turkish forces launch operation against crime group in Syria's Afrin
A curfew was imposed in the city as part of the security operation.
Sources in the city told state-run Anadolu Agency that the operation targeted the gang, known as Abu Havle.
The group, which is believed to have around 300 men, has been engaged in illegal activities such as burglary and extortion.
Some members of the group exchanged fire during the operation with security forces that included Turkey’s elite Special Forces Command nicknamed the “Maroon Berets,” daily Hürriyet reported.
The operation was moving slowly as the group was using civilians as human shields at and around its headquarters.
Gang members were cornered in two locations in Afrin’s center, Anadolu Agency reported on Nov. 19.
Syria Task Force
The Syria Task Force is comprised of 12 different teams from the Special Operations Departments from Turkey’s Ankara, Hatay and Gaziantep provinces.
The Syria Task Force is also participating in high-risk operations.
The nascent police organization, which was formed in accordance with the Turkish police, is composed of seven units specialized in counter-terrorism, intelligence, public order, traffic, crime-scene investigations and commandos.
Turkish police will also provide training for police units that will operate inside prisons that will soon be established in the district.
Special forces will also be deployed at the entrances and exits of highways and critical points in the region.
These special forces, with the approval of the local authorities, will personally engage in risky operations.
Within the past three months, several suicide attacks have been thwarted by special teams who have also destroyed more than 100 makeshift explosives left by the YPG/PKK group.