By Rauf Maltas
RAS AL-AYN, Syria (AA) – Cleared of YPG/PKK terrorists during Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria, a hospital in Ras al-Ayn is now fully repaired to serve patients.
The terrorists previously used the hospital as a headquarter, with tunnels dug in the basement floor. They also set booby traps in the hospital rooms.
Following Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring, the hospital was cleared of terrorists and the improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Turkey’s Health Ministry took responsibility in the restoration of the hospital.
Turkey also assigned health staff to the hospital to extend a helping hand to the patients in the Syrian region.
Emre Erkus, a Turkish health official operating in the southeastern Sanliurfa province neighboring Syria, told Anadolu Agency the hospital was first cleared of explosives and its service capacity was significantly boosted with mobile health trucks and emergency services.
The hospital serves round-the-clock, Erkus said.
“Gynecology, pediatric and emergency services have started to operate,” he said, adding a total of 12 beds are now available for patients.
Patients can benefit from ultrasound, laboratory and pharmacy services at the hospital and the medication was provided free of charge.
He said the hospital is expected to serve with 200 beds in the coming period.
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.
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 is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.
* Writing by Ali Murat Alhas