TAL ABYAD, Syria
Locals in Syria's Tal Abyad district said YPG/PKK terrorists had persecuted people and implemented economic pressure on the opponents of the terror group.
Those rescued from the persecution of YPG/PKK in northern Syria's Tal Abyad province are now happy to be free again after Turkey's anti-terror operation.
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists 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.
In the city, where life begins to return to normal, locals told Anadolu Agency of what they experienced during YPG/PKK attacks.
Abdulkerim el Musa, a farmer, said the terrorists discriminated among local people, and they suffered due to the economic pressure of the YPG/PKK terrorists.
"All aid, oil, and jobs were seized by the terrorists and their supporters. We only could take a loaf of the bread. Even for this, we had to have a yellow card that has a photo of Abdullah Ocalan -- the ringleader of PKK.
"The terrorists determined the prices of our products. The terrorists were buying our products but they were paying what they wanted," he said.
"All vehicles and terminals were seized by the terrorists who did not allow the Arabs to use them," he added.
He also stressed that the terrorists did not only implement economic pressure but also persecuted people, including children.
"The terrorists recruited the Arab children by force to arm them, burnt our houses, and seized whatever we had," he said.
Muhammed el Hacali, a fruit seller, said the terrorists collected tributes from locals by force.
"When people rejected, the terrorists did not allow people to work," he said.
"YPG/PKK terrorists only helped their supporters, sharing oil and all international aid just with their supporters, and exploiting our resources".
Isa Muhammed, a restaurant owner, said he paid the tributes terrorists asked from him, just to be able to work in Tal Abyad.
"The terrorists would have never allowed us to work if we had rejected to pay tributes. That's why I paid it, but it was too much. The terrorists seized all my annual earning," he said.
He also said the conditions in the area are getting better thanks to Turkey's anti-terror operation.
"Now, the conditions are better after the region is cleared of the terrorists. Of course, there will be a few problems but everything will be better hereupon," he added.
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 Syrian offshoot of the PKK.
* Writing by Fahri AksutAnadolu 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.