PKK's Syrian offshoot People's Protection Forces (YPG) has been looting and vandalizing the homes and lands of civilians in the Syrian town of Tal Rifaat.
According to information Anadolu Agency obtained from local sources, YPG/PKK terrorists looted some houses belonging to civilians in the villages of Menagh and Ayn Dakna.
Forces of Bashar al-Assad regime and Iran-backed foreign militant groups, who came from rural Aleppo's Nubul and Zahra districts, have also committed similar vandalism in the area.
Footage shot by Anadolu Agency captures the moments when houses were set ablaze and smoke is seen rising from the fields.
Bashar Allito, bureau chief of Tal Rifaat's military council, told Anadolu Agency that he also witnessed the smoke rising from Tal Rifaat and nearby villages.
Allito said a possible Turkish-Russian negotiation on liberating Tal Rifaat from terrorist groups could force the PYD/YPG/PKK terrorists and Iran-backed militias to leave the area securing peace and safety.
Another local official Mahmoud Allito, head of Tal Rifaat's local council, had said in a statement in March that the YPG/PKK captured more than 50 villages in the region in 2016.
"Amid heavy terror attacks, families were forced to flee to the Turkish border… Nearly 250,000 civilians were forced to flee the region," he added.
Previously, locals from Tal Rifaat and many Free Syrian Army members held demonstrations, asking Turkey to help liberate their land from YPG/PKK terrorists.
Turkey and Russia continue talks to clear Tal Rifaat of terrorists. If talks concluded positively, around 250,000 civilians will return to their homes.
Turkey on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from northwestern Afrin. On March 18, Turkish troops and Free Syrian Army members liberated the town of Afrin, on the 58th day of the operation.
Importance of Tal Rifaat
Tal Rifaat is located 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of the Turkish border on the main highway leading to Syria's economic capital Aleppo.
In early 2016, YPG/PKK terrorists aimed to capture the regions between the east bank of the Euphrates River and western Afrin, in order to link the lands it had already captured.
The terror group, moving from Afrin to the southeast and from Manbij to the west, tried to take control of Tal Rifaat and Al-Bab and link the line. By doing so, the YPG/PKK sought to gain dominance along the Syrian-Turkish border.
However, Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield made it impossible for the terrorists to achieve their aims.
Operation Euphrates Shield began in August 2016 and ended in late March 2017 to improve security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the terror threat along Turkey's borders.
Between Jan. and March 2018, Turkish military also cleared YPG/PKK from Afrin.
During its invasion of Tal Rifaat, the YPG/PKK forced around 250,000 Arabs out. Residents of the city sought refuge in Azaz, which is adjacent to the Euphrates Shield area and is under opposition control.
The terrorists started to accommodate Kurdish families in Tal Rifaat who they brought from Afrin.
Currently, around 15,000-20,000 Kurds and Arabs live in the district, only 700-800 of whom are Arab residents of Tal Rifaat.
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