Syrians living in Turkey return home in N Syria
As life returns to normal in the district of Ras al-Ayn after Operation Peace Spring, maintenance and restoration efforts continue in the area in northern Syria.
Around 70 Syrians, including women and children, living in Turkey’s southeastern border province of Sanliurfa set off from the Viransehir and Ceylanpinar districts after applying to local authorities to return home.
Crossing the border, they showed their gratitude to the Turkish military personnel, with National Syrian Army teams welcoming them on the other side.
Muazzin al-Muhammad, one of the returning Syrians, told reporters they were happy that Ras al-Ayn had been liberated from terrorists.
"We have been living in Turkey for seven years. I’m so happy, we are returning to our country," al-Muhammad said.
"We thank you [Turkish] President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for everything," he said, adding that he was 11 when he left Ras al-Ayn.
Abdulazim al-Muhammad also said he was very happy to go back to his country, and thanking Turkey for its hospitality.
Turkey's defense ministry on Nov. 21 said that the voluntary return of Syrian refugees to Syria’s Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn districts began after Ankara removed terrorists from the said areas.
"Approximately 200 of our Syrian brothers who fled the PKK/YPG terror group by seeking refuge in Jarabulus (which is in the Op Peace Spring Area) have voluntarily returned to their homes and lands in a secure and safe manner," the ministry has said in a written statement.
"In this respect, 70 more families comprising of 295 people have begun making their way from Jarabulus to their homes in Tal Abyad," the statement added.
With the facilitation of peace and security in the Operation Peace Spring area, it is expected for people to continue returning their homes, it added.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring, to eliminate the terrorist YPG/PKK from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so that a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some two million refugees.
The U.S.-backed SDF, a group dominated by the YPG, has been controlling some 28 percent of the Syrian territories, including the most of the 911-kilometer-long Syria-Turkey border.
Turkey deems the YPG the Syrian offshoot of the illegal PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization also by the United States and the EU.