The Turkish military Thursday has cleared two villages west of northeastern Syrian town of Tal Abyad from People’s Protection Units (YPG) terrorists.
Earlier, the Ministry of National Defense said the army has taken control of specific targets in northern Syria and Operation Peace Spring is successfully proceeding as planned.
The ministry released a statement on its official Twitter account, giving details about the ongoing anti-terror operation.
The Turkish military opened fire on some 181 People’s Protection Units (YPG) targets in northern Syria, as commandos participating in Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring started advancing east of the Euphrates.
Footage of commandos opening fire as they advanced was also published by the ministry.
“Using air forces elements and fire support vehicles, the Turkish Armed Forces have opened fire on a total of 181 targets belonging to the terrorist organization [YPG/PKK] under the scope of Operation Peace Spring,” the ministry said.
In a later statement, the ministry said YPG terrorists take cover in civilian compounds, including schools and hospitals to carry out mortar and rocket attacks against civilian areas.
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 the People’s Protection Units (YPG), on Oct. 9 at 4 p.m.
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. The YPG is the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the PKK terror group’s Syrian affiliate.
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.