By Volkan Kasik
KILIS, Turkey (AA) – The Turkish army have rescued an elderly couple in a rural area to the northeast of Afrin in Syria, security sources said on Thursday.
During the ongoing Operation Olive Branch, launched on Jan. 20 to clear Afrin from PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists, Turkish soldiers liberated the village of Dikmetas in northeastern Afrin.
The Turkish forces found an elderly couple while searching the houses in the village.
Huseyin Davutoglu, 73, and his wife Emine Davutoglu, 75, were handed to the medical teams waiting on the Turkey-Syria border, via an armored ambulance. After an initial check-up, they were referred to a state hospital in the border province of Kilis.
During their treatment in the hospital, the elderly couple were discovered to have been food and water-deprived for days, which caused severe weakness.
After going without food and water for days, the hearing-impaired old man is still sleeping, Chief Physician Ali Muhsin Guvelioglu said.
Dr. Guvelioglu added that the condition of the old woman was better and they were doing their best for the couple.
- PYD/PKK oppressed everyone
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Emine Davutoglu said that she was actually from Kilis, but she had moved to Syria 40 years earlier after getting married.
She said they had gone through very tough times because of the terrorists who occupied the region, and were not able to leave their houses for a long time out of fear.
“We waited in our house without food or water... We sat on the concrete floor of the room, and it was so cold,” Davutoglu said.
She added that she finally went out and prayed and saw terrorists with weapons.
“I wanted Turkish soldiers to come to me, and at last they did,” she said, and added:
“I saw three-four terrorists killed outside… [Turkish soldiers] took us from there and brought here [to Kilis]… We were left without food, water and we could not sleep. They oppressed everyone.”
According to a statement by the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, the statement said.
The military also said only terror targets were being destroyed and the "utmost care and sensitivity" were being shown to not harm any civilians.