By Dilara Hamit
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s Defense Ministry said Sunday that the YPG/PKK terror group released over 800 Daesh/ISIS prisoners of war in Tal Abyad, Syria.
"Turkey is the only NATO and International Coalition Against DAESH member to fight hand to hand and neutralize over 4000 members of DAESH in Iraq and Syria," the Defense Ministry said on Twitter.
“But YPG/PKK on the other hand has just released over 800 DAESH prisoners of war in Tal Abyad,” it added.
Since 2016, Turkey has carried out three major military operations in northern Syria -- Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch and Peace Spring -- with the aim of purging the region of terrorist groups.
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.
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 Syrian offshoot of the PKK.