Proof has emerged of the YPG/PKK terrorist organization kidnapping civilians at gunpoint and using them as human shields, after four elder villagers were found in a barn with their hands tied up, surrounded by mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in northwestern Syria's Afrin region.
According to military sources, the villagers were found by the Turkish Armed Forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) who were clearing terrorists from the village of Maskah in Racu as part of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin.
During the operation, four civilians in their 80s and 90s were found in a barn. The barn's door was booby-trapped with hand grenades, and their hands had been bound and, mines and IEDs were placed around them by YPG/PKK terrorists.
Explosive ordnance disposal teams destroyed the mines and IEDs. The civilians were then safely evacuated from the area and sent to a border police station.
Other houses in the village were also meticulously searched as part of the operation. A total of 12 explosive devices were found in the village and destroyed in a controlled environment.
Photos of the incident showed that the terrorist organization was using civilians as human shields and that they wanted to harm Turkish forces coming for help.
Turkish and FSA forces cleared the village off YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists during the day.
Operation Olive Branch was launched by Turkey on Jan. 20 to remove the PKK and its affiliate the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing the People's Protection Units (YPG), as well as Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and in the region as well as to protect Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights within international law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its right to self-defense under the U.N. charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The operation in Afrin – bordering Turkey's Hatay and Kilis provinces – was widely expected in the wake of Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, which cleared Daesh terrorists from Turkey's border between Aug. 24, 2016 and March 2017.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PKK/PYD/YPG since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terrorist group without putting up a fight.