By Ali Murat Alhas
ANKARA (AA) - As some territories in northern Syria were cleared of the YPG/PKK terror elements, battle-weary Syrians began to return to their hometowns and resettle there, Turkey’s Ministry of National Defense said on Sunday.
With YPG/PKK terror elements cleared in northern Syrian territories, battle-weary Syrians began to return home and resettle, Turkey’s Ministry of National Defense said on Sunday.
“Our Syrian brothers who were forcibly made to fight for the YPG/PKK terror group, endured every sort of cruelty and oppression, are continuing to return to their homes in Syria,” the ministry said in an official statement.
“Fleeing the terror group’s oppression and seeking refuge in Jarabulus [in the Operation Euphrates Sheild], our Syrian brethren have made it to their homes and began resettling safely,” it added.
On their way back home, the Syrians offered gratitude for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF).
In a video attached to the statement, the Syrians spoke about with the PKK, whose Syrian offshoot is the YPG.
“The PKK expelled us, for this reason, we left Syria. The PKK took our homes, our belongings, everything from us,” said one of the interviewees.
He said he was “pleased with what President Erdogan and Turkish soldiers have done for them.”
Another Syrian said the terror group confiscated Syrians’ property and other belongings. “Thankfully we are returning to our homes,” he added.
Another man, returning home with his family, said they had to flee their homes due to PKK, adding the terror group “forcibly made them join the war” and it tried to kill them.
“They evicted us from our homes, we’re separated from our homes for one and a half years,” he said thanking Turkey for its supportive activities.
Another Syrian, a woman, said the terror group took their homes and livestock and they had no idea about the current condition of their hometown.
- Turkey’s anti-terror operation in Syria
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate 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 has reached two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia to pause the operation in order to allow YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from a planned safe zone, where Turkey wants to repatriate the refugees.
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 PKK’s Syrian offshoot.