Military police start duty in Afrin city center

Published 03.04.2018 21:32

Free Syrian Army (FSA) military police have started patrols in the Afrin city center after the liberation of the town from the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG).

The Syrian interim government announced last December that 30 subgroups of the FSA merged to form the National Army. The police units in Afrin were selected from within the National Army and were tasked with providing security in the areas liberated in Operation Euphrates Shield last year.

After FSA units hand over security to military police in the city center, they will disperse to the rural areas to conduct searches and maintain public peace.

The military police have erected security check points at the entrances and exits of the city. Muhammad al-Buşi, the commander of the military police in Afrin, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they intensified efforts to protect the safety and property of locals in Afrin following the liberation of the town. "We are searching for terrorist hideouts. Some of them were identified and arrested. We are working day and night for the security of the locals," he said.

Turkish and FSA forces continue trying to safely remove mines and improvised explosive devices (IED) from areas liberated in Afrin.

As part of Operation Olive Branch, launched Jan. 20 to clear the YPG from the Afrin region, Turkish and FSA forces entered the Afrin city center and liberated it on March 18. The operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's border and in the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression. It is being carried out within the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the U.N. Charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity.

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