Turkey destroys hundreds of mines, IEDs in N Syria

Turkey destroys hundreds of mines, IEDs in N Syria

ANKARA-Anadolu Agency
Turkey destroys hundreds of mines, IEDs in N Syria

Turkish security forces have destroyed 891 mines and 1,660 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in northern Syria within the area of its latest anti-terror operation in the region, the National Defense Ministry said on Jan. 9.

"Our commandos meticulously continue clearing mine/IEDs booby-trapped by PKK/YPG terrorists which pose great danger to soldiers and civilians in the Operation Peace Spring area. Until now, 1,660 IEDs and 891 mines have been identified and disposed in a controlled manner," the ministry said in a tweet.

Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terrorist operations across its border into northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terrorist corridor there: Operations Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).

Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists 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 a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some two million refugees.

On Oct. 22, Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists would pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey's border with Syria, and security forces from Turkey and Russia would mount joint patrols there.

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.