Agriculture in Syria's Tal Abyad at standstill

Published 04.12.2019 19:43

Agricultural activities in Syria's northern city of Tal Abyad had come to a standstill under the PKK's Syrian affiliate People's Protection Units (YPG) rule before the city was liberated in a Turkish military operation late October.

Corn, cotton and wheat are the main agricultural products in Tal Abyad, which borders the Akçakale district of southeastern Turkey's Şanlıurfa. But more than four years of YPG/PKK occupation and nearly nine years of civil war have brought agriculture to a halt.

"The [YPG] terror group used to impose taxes on the farmers. We were unable to grow whatever we want. There were no fertilizers or seeds," Mohammed Abdulhadi, a resident of Sukkariyah village west of Tal Abyad, told Anadolu Agency (AA).

Abdulhadi said the farmers expect the Syrian National Army (SNA) to provide them with diesel fuel and seeds.

"I have a field but I could not grow anything due to the terrorist group's occupation of the area for the last four years," another farmer, Ali Hammam, said.

Another farmer from the area, Cuma Aneyzan said fertilizers are expensive and he could not afford fuel.

On Oct. 9 Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate YPG terrorists from northern Syria and east of the Euphrates, in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.

Under two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG terrorists from the planned Syria safe zone.

Prior to that, Turkey led two successful operations, Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield, in northern Syria to rid the region of terrorists.

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

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