Turkish military retaliates against YPG harassment fire in Syria's Afrin

Published 05.03.2019 16:45
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The Turkish military on Tuesday retaliated to harassment fire by the PKK's Syrian offshoot People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists in Syria's northwestern Afrin, officials said.

According to a tweet by the National Defense Ministry, the fire came from Tal Rifaat city in Syria and Turkish military retaliated in kind.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children.

Turkey has vowed to carry out a counter-terrorist operation in Manbij, Syria and east of Euphrates following two similar successful operations since 2016.

In December 2018, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Ankara is in preparations for the third offensive in northern Syria, this time east of the Euphrates, which is dominated by the YPG.

Previously, Turkey conducted two offensives in northern Syria, Operation Olive Branch and Operation Euphrates Shield. The first was launched by Ankara to clear its borders of Daesh terrorists while the second was to prevent the YPG's ultimate plan of establishing an autonomous region in northern Syria by connecting Afrin to Kobani and Jazeera.

Following the operations, Turkey has also been involved in efforts to rebuild the towns' infrastructure, as well as health and educational institutions. Schools are being renovated and a hospital is being built. Turkey has also helped local people build olive oil facilities in the town, where agriculture is the main source of income for residents.

Thanks to the success of both operations and the post-operation developments in the liberated areas, the numbers of refugees returning to their hometowns have increased in recent months.

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