UPDATES WITH MORE VILLAGES CLEARED OF TERRORISTS
By Omer Koparan, Burak Karacaoglu, Levent Tok, and Mohamad Misto
TAL ABYAD, Syria (AA) - Turkey’s newly launched anti-terror operation in northern Syria liberated seven villages of Tal Abyad town and Ras al-Ayn city from terrorists on Thursday.
The villages of al-Yabisah and Tal Fandar were the first ones cleared of terrorists as part of the Operation Peace Spring -- launched Wednesday east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist elements and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.
Later, the villages of Musheirifa, Dadat, Bir Ashiq and Hamidiyah in Tal Abyad and Kishto in Ras al-Ayn were also cleared of terrorists.
Syrian National Army forces are taking security precautions in the villages located west of Tal Abyad.
Turkey has said the terrorist group PKK and its extension the YPG/PYD constitute the gravest threat to Syria’s future, jeopardizing the country’s territorial integrity and unitary structure.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The terrorist YPG/PYD is its Syrian branch.