By Omer Koparan and Adham Kako
JARABULUS, Syria (AA) - Armenians in Syria’s Jarabulus city, once occupied by Daesh/ISIS terrorists, remained thankful to Turkey and Syrian National Army (SNA) that liberated the city from the terrorist group in 2016.
Siron Cilingiryan, a resident of Jarabulus, said they started to live freely after the city was cleared of Daesh terrorists on Aug. 24, 2016, on the first day of Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield.
“I was almost shot in the forehead by a sniper just before the Syrian National Army arrived in Jarabulus. There was no one in the city at the moment, so I had to bandage my own injuries. When they [Turkish and SNA troops] came here, we started flying with happiness. We are all free now,” Cilingiryan told Anadolu Agency.
Recalling the period under Daesh’s occupation, he said: ''They [Daesh terrorists] were always eager to know where we were going and where we were coming from, but now we are totally free thanks to Turkish Army and Syrian National Army.''
Reacting to the claims that the Turkish Army and SNA were putting pressure on Christians, Cilingiryan said these allegations “are totally baseless.”
“Nothing like that happened here,” he added.
Artin Aduryan, an 82-year-old resident of Jarabulus, said they suffered a lot from the tyranny of the terror group. He said they are now pleased that there is no one putting pressure on them.
Since 2016, Turkey has conducted three successful operations in northern Syria against the terrorist YPG/PKK and Daesh/ISIS: Operation Euphrates Shield (2016-17), Operation Olive Branch (2018) and Operation Peace Spring.
Since recognizing Daesh as a terror group in 2013, Turkey has been attacked by Daesh/ISIS terrorists numerous times, including 10 suicide bombings, seven bombings, and four armed attacks which killed 315 people and injured hundreds.
In response to the attacks, Turkey launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad, neutralizing 3,500 Daesh terrorists and arresting 5,500.