Turkish military destroys YPG mines, IEDs in northern Syria

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 09.01.2020 15:00
Turkish soldiers clear mines and explosives in northern Syria in this undated handout photo released by the Defense Ministry Defense Ministry Photo
Turkish soldiers clear mines and explosives in northern Syria in this undated handout photo released by the Defense Ministry (Defense Ministry Photo)

Turkish security forces have destroyed 891 mines and 1,660 improvised explosive devices planted by YPG terrorists in northern Syria in its latest anti-terror operation in the region.

"Our commandos meticulously continue clearing mine/IEDs booby-trapped by PKK/YPG terrorists which pose a great danger to soldiers and civilians in the Operation Peace Spring area. Until now, 1,660 IEDs and 891 mines have been identified and disposed of in a controlled manner," the Defense Ministry said Thursday on Twitter.

Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some two million refugees.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, the third in a series of cross-border anti-terror operations in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the PKK's Syrian offshoot YPG, on Oct. 9.

The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians return in the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists.

On Oct. 22, Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists would pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey's border with Syria, and security forces from Turkey and Russia would mount joint patrols there.

The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.

Since 2016, Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for nearly 400,000 Syrians who fled the violence to return home.

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