Turkey revives N Syria after clearing terrorists, says defense ministry
“The oppression and persecution of the PKK / YPG terrorist organizations was terminated in Tel Abyad and Rasulayn regions with the Operation Peace Spring, thus the way was opened for our Syrian brothers, who took refuge in Turkey, to return to their homes and lands voluntarily and safely,” said the Turkish Defense Ministry on Nov. 4.
The Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) also continues to distribute donations to people of the region.
The ministry also posted a video of people who received donations and welcomed Turkey’s help to restore Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain.
“With the arrival of Turkish soldiers our lives have become better,” said a man in the video showing his appreciation, adding that the region has gotten safer.
“Although PKK / YPG terrorists treacherously used many hospitals and places of worship as weapon emplacements and shelters by consciously wearing civilian clothes and disregarding the lives of civilians, great attention and effort has been shown to avoid harm to the innocent / civilians and the environment,” the ministry also said.
“The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will continue to stand by and support all the innocent people leading a modest life in the region, regardless of their religious and ethnic origin. Our fight is only against the terrorists,” it added.
“Operation Peace Spring has been carried out completely and only against Daesh and PKK / YPG terrorists in order to ensure peace and stability in the region on the basis of moral values and international law," it said using the Arabic acronym for ISIL.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
On Oct. 22, Turkey reached an agreement with Russia on a 10-point plan to force the terrorist YPG/PKK to withdraw from a planned terror-free zone.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG/PKK is its Syrian offshoot.
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.