By Nilay Kar Onum and Cigdem Alyanak
ISTANBUL (AA) – The Turkish Red Crescent has arrived in Syria’s recently liberated district of Tal Abyad to deliver humanitarian aid to needy people, the head of the aid agency said on Tuesday.
“This morning, our colleagues reached Tal Abyad along with a convoy of one tractor-trailer and two trucks. They are handing out food and hygiene supplies to affected people,” Kerem Kinik, told Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of World Humanitarian Action Forum (WHAF) being held in Istanbul.
The city center of Tal Abyad district was cleared of YPG/PKK terrorists in the scope of Turkey's ongoing Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria on Sunday. Their homes were liberated from over a five-year occupation by Daesh and YPG/PKK terrorists. Tal Abyad residents on Tuesday started returning to their homes.
Kinik went on to say aid will cross to Syrian regions cleared of terrorists through two new border gates, which have become operational in Turkey's southeastern province of Sanliurfa through Turkey's ongoing operation.
"The number of [border] gates, where we have been carrying out cross-border humanitarian aid since 2011 had reduced to six from 12 after terror groups occupied the region. Now there will be two new gates. With Akcakale and Ceylanpinar gates, new doors will open for humanitarian aid into Syria," he said.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate 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.
Ankara wants to clear east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria of the terrorist group PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
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.