TAL ABYAD/RAS AL-AYN, Syria
At least 198 soldiers of Turkey-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) have been martyred in attacks by YPG/PKK terrorists since the launch of Ankara-led anti-terror operation in northern Syria last month.
According to the SNA commanders in the field, a total of 643 SNA soldiers were wounded and one soldier went missing during the Operation Peace Spring.
Yusuf Hammud, SNA spokesman, told Anadolu Agency they will continue to fight YPG/PKK terrorists, who have been ignoring the agreement between Turkey and Russia on creating a safe zone.
“YPG/PKK does not comply with the agreement between Turkey and Russia. They are still attacking our frontlines and civilians in the areas liberated [from terrorists],” said Hammud.
SNA soldiers continue search and sweep activities in the region, destroying improvised explosives seized from terrorists, and have been holding the frontlines, which were cleared of terrorists.
Launched on Oct. 9, the Operation Peace Spring aims to eliminate terrorist YPG/PKK elements 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 agreed with Washington on Oct. 17 to pause its operation to allow YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the planned safe zone.
On Oct. 22, Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey’s border with Syria within 150 hours, and security forces from Turkey and Russia will mount joint patrols there.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.
*Writing by Davut DemircanAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.