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Syrians in Turkey continue voluntary return to homeland

Syrian Refugees | 2019-11-28 15:19:00
Syrians in Turkey continue voluntary return to homeland
Over 590 Syrians living in Turkey have voluntarily returned to their homes in the newly-captured areas by the Turkish army and allied Syrian National Army, the country’s National Defense Ministry on Thursday.

Operation Euphrates Shield and its successors, Operation Olive Branch in 2018 and Operation Peace Spring -- launched on Oct. 9 -- all aim to eliminate terrorist elements near Turkey’s borders, including Daesh/ISIS and the YPG/PKK.

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

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

"Around 370,000 people from our country have returned to northern Syria, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay on Tuesday has told the International Forum on Local Solutions to Migration and Displacement in southeastern Gaziantep province.

"We are putting all services, especially in areas of security, health, education and shelter, road, water and electricity, into use of Syrians without any discrimination," Oktay added.

He reiterated that Ankara is determined to form the peace corridor regardless of foreign support.

Oktay highlighted that Turkey’s anti-terror operations formed safe areas in Syria and helped normalization of life in those areas.

Turkey hosts some 3.6 million refugees who fled the eight-year-old civil war, more than any other country. The Syrian population in Istanbul, home to some 15 million people, had swollen to more than half a million, according to Reuters.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch last month published reports saying Turkey is forcibly sending Syrian refugees to northern Syria. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry called the claims in the reports “false and imaginary.”

 Eight years of war in Syria have killed 560,000 people and driven half the pre-war population of 22 million from their homes, including more than 6 million as refugees to neighbouring countries.

Zaman Al Wasl with AA
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