About 40,000 Turkmens await Turkey’s military op in Syria to return home | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

16 January, Wednesday


About 40,000 Turkmens await Turkey’s military op in Syria to return home

‘About 40,000 Turkmens were forced to abandon their villages and due to pressures and attacks of the PKK terrorists,’ says Turkmen commander

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Turkmen tribes are counting the days for Turkey’s imminent operation to sweep out Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists from the northeastern Syrian city of Manbij in order for them to return to their homes.

Zekeriya Karslı, a Turkmen commander of the Jabhat al-Sham, a division of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), spoke exclusively to Yeni Şafak daily and revealed the endless atrocities and persecution of PKK terrorists against civilians.

“60,000 Turkmens were living in 25 villages before the terror group settled in Manbij. First Daesh and later PKK terrorists were dispatched to the region. About 40,000 Turkmens were forced to abandon their villages due to pressure and attacks,” Karslı said.

He also noted that the PKK terrorists flagrantly looted and pillaged everything of value from the homes that were abandoned.

PKK forces civilians to take up arms

Stressing the PKK’s pressure on Turkmens to join the terror group, Karslı said, “Turkmens refused to join them and stated that they stand with Turkey and the FSA. Most Turkmens were forced to leave their homes and settle in other areas. The terror group forced civilians to immigrate.”

He concluded by saying that after the intervention of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and FSA in Manbij, Turkmens who were uprooted from their homes will return to their hometown.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signaled that a cross-border operation against the terrorist PYD/YPG in Syria will happen soon. Since 2016, Ankara has carried out two similar military operations in northern Syria.

U.S. President Donald Trump last week made the surprise announcement that the U.S. would withdraw its troops from Syria. The decision followed Trump's phone call with Erdogan in which the two leaders agreed on the need for more effective coordination over the civil war-torn country.

On Monday, Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces reinforced the area around the town of Manbij, which is occupied by PKK/YPG terrorists, in preparation for the U.S. withdrawal.

In June, Ankara and Washington reached an agreement that would see the YPG ousted from the town, but Turkey has repeatedly said the United States delayed.

Washington and Ankara have now agreed to complete their agreement on Manbij by the time the United States finishes its withdrawal, Turkish foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. The PKK has been conducting armed violence in the southeastern part of Turkey since 1984. More than 40,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the three-decade long conflict. The YPG and PYD are its Syrian branches.

Yeni Safak

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