By Burak Karacaoglu, Omer Koparan, Mohamad Misto
JARABLUS, Syria/ANKARA (AA) - The YPG/PKK terrorist organization attacked civilians Wednesday in Syria’s Jarablus district on the border with Turkey, killing one and injuring seven, according to information obtained by an Anadolu Agency correspondent.
They are targeting civilians after Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring earlier in the day, which aims to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist elements.
The terrorists attacked a civilian camp and civil settlement in Jarablus, which had been captured from the Daesh terror group in 2016 during Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield.
-Terrorists using local residents’ homes
The YPG/PKK is also using the homes of local residents when attacking civilian settlements in Turkey.
They have been directing their mortar attacks towards Turkish settlements from the cities of Ras al-Ayn and Qamishli, which they are occupying.
A video posted on social media showed them using a local resident’s home and dressing in civilian clothes while readying mortars.
- Operation Peace Spring
Turkey has launched Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist elements to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.
Turkey has said the PKK terrorist group and its extension the YPG/PYD constitute the biggest threat to Syria’s future, jeopardizing the country’s territorial integrity and unitary structure.
Ankara has also stressed that supporting terrorists under the pretext of fighting Daesh is unacceptable.
Turkey has a 911-kilometer (566-mile) border with Syria and has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates and the formation of a “terrorist corridor” there.
Turkey plans to resettle 2 million Syrians in a 30-kilometer (19-mi) wide safe zone to be set up in Syria, stretching from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border, including Manbij. However, the presence of terrorist groups such as the PKK, PYD and YPG risk its formation.
Turkey has rid an area of 4,000 square kilometers (1,544 square miles) in Syria of terrorist groups in two separate cross-border operations. Since 2016, Turkey has conducted two major military operations in northwestern Syria -- Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch -- to purge the region of the terrorist groups Daesh and the YPG, which is the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist group.
The two operations were in line with the country’s right to self-defense borne out of international law, UN Security Council resolutions, especially no. 1624 (2005), 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014), and under the right to self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter while being respectful of Syria’s territorial integrity.
During Operation Euphrates Shield, Turkish forces neutralized 3,060 Daesh terrorists. Turkey has suffered greatly from Daesh attacks inside the country. More than 300 people have been killed in attacks claimed by Daesh in Turkey, where the terrorist group has targeted civilians in suicide bombings and armed attacks in recent years.
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 some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
*Writing by Davut Demircan