Turkey, World, Middle East

Syrian refugees flee PKK/PYD oppression in Syria

'We suffered oppression because we refused to fight against Turkey,' says refugee Haci Abdullah

Syrian refugees flee PKK/PYD oppression in Syria

By Cem Genco and Ozan Efeoglu

HATAY, Turkey

Sixty refugees have arrived in Turkey after fleeing Afrin, northwestern Syrian due to the oppression of the PYD/PKK terrorist group.

Eight families who decided to seek refuge in Turkey reached Reyhanli in Turkey’s Hatay’s district after a long journey on foot from the Syrian town of Jindires.

"We suffered oppression because we refused to fight against Turkey," Haci Abdullah, 50, one of the refugees, told Anadolu Agency.

From the beginning of Turkey’s counter-terrorist operation in Afrin, "We saw suppression from the PYD/PKK terrorist organization," Abdullah said, adding: "We refused to fight, and fled Jindires."

"We walked around 12 kilometers [7 miles] and we left all our belongings behind us," he added.

Cemile Ahmet, 32, said: "The PYD/PKK terrorist organization put more pressure on us. I reached Reyhanli with my seven children after walking five hours on foot. Thank God we’re alive and thanks to Turkey."

According to the Turkish General Staff, Operation Olive Branch aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and the "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming any civilians.

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