Turkey Afrin Offensive - Operation Olive Branch | Page 4 | World Defense

Turkey Afrin Offensive - Operation Olive Branch

Khafee

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Turkey Says Nearly 330,000 Syrians Returned Home
Tuesday, 28 May, 2019


Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak (L) and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu stand next to each other during a media briefing at the Presidential Palace, Ankara, Turkey, July 9, 2018. (Reuters)

Ankara- Said Abdel Razek

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said 329,000 Syrians have returned from Turkey since the end of the operations carried out by Turkey and pro-Syrian factions, including the Free Syrian Army, Turkey’s interior minister said Sunday.

Soylu said those Syrians returned to their homeland thanks to the peace reached in Afrin, Azaz, Jarablus, and al-Bab where the Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield operations were carried out.

Since 2016, Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northern Syria have liberated the region from PKK-linked People's Protection Units (YPG) and ISIS.

Some eight million Syrians left their country after the outbreak of the internal war in 2011, including about 3.6 million in Turkey.

In a speech during an Iftar event in Istanbul on Sunday, Soylu said residents in areas where Euphrates Field and Olive Branch operations were carried out feel safe and stable.

He noted that the Turkish armed forces continue to cooperate with the Free Syrian Army in the fight against terror groups northern Syria, adding that these operations have achieved major successes.

Meanwhile, Syrians residing in Turkey continue to return home through the in the southern state of Hatay to spend Eid al-Fitr with their families.

People have started returning to Syria from Gilva Gozo crossing, facing Bab al-Hawa crossing in Idlib province, since May 20.

While their return and entry into Turkey take place through “Ongo Pinar” crossing in Kilis province, south Turkey, facing Bab al-Salama in Azaz.

Syrians, who live in different Turkish states, arrive at the Gilva Gozo crossing to spend the Eid with their families.

As of Saturday, some 16,000 Syrians have left and Syrians will continue to return home through both crossings until May 31.

Turkish authorities at the crossings carry out the necessary measures, and they are allowed to cross the borders after providing authorities with the information required.

 

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Car bombing kills 19 in Syria’s Azaz: monitor
AFP
June 03, 2019
View attachment 7479
The damage from the explosion was sever, burning down at least six shops. (AFP)

  • The bomb exploded as people were leaving the evening prayers
  • The explosion burned down at least six shops

AZAZ, Syria: At least 19 people were killed Sunday in a car bomb near a bustling market and mosque in a rebel-held city in northwestern Syria, a war monitor said.

Four children were among those killed in the explosion in Azaz, in the heart of a Turkish zone of influence in Aleppo province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The attack also wounded more than 20 people, according to the Britain-based monitor.
“Many people were leaving evening prayers when the explosion happened,” Observatory head Rami Abdul Rahman told AFP.

Shoppers buying clothes and gifts ahead of the upcoming Eid Al-Fitr holiday were among those killed, said Jihad Berro, a coroner at a local hospital.

He said the medical facility was crammed with victims and their relatives.
“The emergency rooms were full, we placed corpses on the floor,” he said.
“It is a real catastrophe before the Eid Al-Fitr holiday,” which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, said Berro.

An AFP photographer saw a large crowd gathering at the scene of the attack, charred vehicles dotting the side of the road.
Rescue workers searched through mounds of rubble, looking for bodies, he said.

Resident Abu Youssef said the explosion torched the neighborhood.
“The damage is severe: at least six stores were burned, the storefronts of dozens of other stores were blown out,” he told AFP.

It was not clear who was behind the attack, which came a day after a similar explosion killed 10 people and wounded 20 in the northeastern city of Raqqa.

Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016 and seized more than 2,000 square kilometers of northern Syria including Azaz, clearing the area of Daesh terrorists while preventing any Kurdish advance in the region.

Ankara keeps Turkish troops and intelligence forces in the area, and still backs Syrian rebels serving as police officers.

 

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Attack kills Turkish soldier in northern Syria
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
June 09 2019
View attachment 7775

A Turkish soldier was killed and five others injured in an attack in northern Syria, the National Defense Ministry said on June 9.

Terrorists launched an anti-tank attack in Tel Rıfat district, according to a ministry statement.

Turkish forces responded with retaliatory fire, it added.

"We offer our condolences to the martyr's family, Turkish Armed Forces, and our nation,” the statement said, also wishing speedy recovery to the injured,” the statement said.

 

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