Turkish security forces have seized hundreds of rocket launchers and dozens of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during search and sweep activities in northern Syria, the National Defense Ministry said late Wednesday.
"Our commandos who were conducting search and sweep operations in Ras al-Ayn have captured a total of 683 rocket launchers and 93 IED casings in a single-story building which was converted into a weapons production facility," the ministry said on Twitter.
The district of Ras al-Ayn located east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria was liberated from terrorists during Turkey's Operation Peace Spring that was launched against the PKK's Syrian offshoot the People's Protection Units (YPG) on Oct. 9.
The operation aimed to eliminate all terrorist elements from the east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.
Ankara agreed with Washington on Oct. 17 to pause this anti-terror operation to allow YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the planned safe zone.
After seeing no significant steps from the U.S. or the YPG for the withdrawal, on Oct. 22 Ankara and Moscow reached another deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists would pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey's border with Syria within 150 hours, and security forces from Turkey and Russia would mount joint patrols there.
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.