Middle East

Syrian refugees vow to take part in retaking areas from YPG/PKK terror groups

Tribal leader Shilash applauds President Erdogan's statement of clearing YPG/PKK terror groups from Manbij and Tel Rifat in northern Syria

Omer Koparan, Mehmet Burak Karacaoglu and Esref Musa   | 07.06.2022
Syrian refugees vow to take part in retaking areas from YPG/PKK terror groups

JARABLUS, Syria

Residents of the northern Syrian district of Manbij, who were forced to flee their homes owing to the YPG/PKK terror group's coercive measures, applauded a statement issued by Turkey's top leader and vowed to play their part in liberating their land from the outfit.

The YPG/PKK terror group forced tens of thousands of civilians to migrate to areas near the Turkish border from the Manbij district of Aleppo, which they took with US support six years ago under the guise of battling Daesh/ISIS terrorists.

Abdullah Shilash, the leader of Manbij's Bani Said tribe, told Anadolu Agency that his tribe is willing to play its part to clean out their district of terrorists.

"We want to free the district as quickly as possible. We have been displaced for many years now. We fully support President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's words," Silas remarked, alluding to the president's statement about clearing YPG/PKK terrorists from Manbij and Tel Rifat.

He also noted that the YPG/PKK is detaining Arab youth under the guise of compulsory military service.

Earlier, Turkish President Erdogan said Türkiye is set to clear two areas of northern Syria, near the Turkish border, of terrorist elements in a bid to eliminate the terror threat from the region.

"We are entering a new phase of our decision to establish a safe zone 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) deep south (of the Turkish-Syrian border). We are clearing Tel Rifat and Manbij of terrorists," Erdogan stated this recently at a gathering of his Justice and Development (AK) Party in the capital Ankara.

In Manbij, where 99% of the population is Arab, the terrorist group is driving people to migrate by utilizing coercive measures such as forcibly recruiting young people to its armed group under the cover of "compulsory military service."

The displaced people from Manbij have been living away from their homes for about six years in makeshift tents set up with their own means around Bab and Jarablus districts along the Turkish border.

‘We are counting the days to regain our lands’

Ali Suleiman, a camp resident from the same district, told Anadolu Agency that the terrorist group's compulsory military service practice pushed thousands of young people from Manbij to migrate.

Waiting for the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Syrian National Army (SMO) to take action and help the refugees return to their district, Suleiman said, "We are counting the days to regain our lands."

Gomaa Khatib, another displaced person, expressed support for all types of military operations to return displaced civilians to their homes and lands after fleeing YPG/PKK terror group's persecution.

Situation in Manbij

The YPG/PKK terror group has maintained their coercive tactics, harassing civilians with "compulsory military service" and other subjugation measures.

People in Manbij who oppose the YPG/PKK terror group's coercive actions hold protests from time to time to express their dissatisfaction and rejection of such illegal practice.

To penalize the local population, the terror group has monopolized patrol in the district and has been depriving people of much-needed gasoline. Before the civil war, the district had a population of about one million people.

Moreover, after being chased out of the territories by Turkish forces, terrorists in Manbij periodically target Jarablus and Bab districts in the safe zone.

The YPG/PKK terror group often mounts attacks on Jarabulus, Afrin, and Azaz from the Manbij and Tal Rifat areas in Syria.

The YPG/PKK terror group also target Turkish forces who provide security in the operations Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch and Peace Spring areas, and try to infiltrate the positions of Syrian opposition fighters from regions where the terror group was supposed to withdraw under the agreements with the US and Russia.

Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terror organization by Türkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK terror group's Syrian offshoot.

* Writing by Seda Sevencan

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