TURKEY

More Syrians expected to return to their homeland: Turkish official

"We think that the number will increase even more in the upcoming period in parallel with the development there [Syria]. Living conditions has been getting better and security has increased in the region especially after Turkey's operations of Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield," Turkey's Deputy Interior Minister Ismail Çataklı told Turkey's state-run news agency.

More Syrians are expected to return to their homeland following Turkey's counter-terror operations in Syria, a Turkish official said on Monday.

"We think that the number will increase even more in the upcoming period in parallel with the development there [Syria]," Turkey's Deputy Interior Minister Ismail Çataklı told Anadolu Agency.

He said living conditions has been getting better and security has increased in the region especially after Turkey's operations of Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield.

Turkey has conducted two successful cross-border operations into Syria since 2016, both meant to eradicate the presence of PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists near Turkey's borders.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children. The PYD is its Syrian branch.

Çataklı added that over 290,000 Syrians have returned home after Turkish military-led operations in Syria.

Turkey's immigration authority carries out activities for Syrians, he said.

Çataklı added: "I think [the number of] returnees will increase more when the situation improves there."

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on protesters with unexpected ferocity.

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