Turkey destroys 903 mines, 1,720 explosives in N.Syria

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Turkish security forces have destroyed 903 mines and 1,720 improvised explosives in areas under its latest anti-terror operation in northern Syria, the country's National Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

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.

The ministry said in a statement children were often the victims of mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted by PKK/YPG terrorists in the Operation Peace Spring zone.

Turkey's Defense Ministry, in cooperation with Turkish teachers from the country's province of Şanlıurfa, launched a training program on Feb. 5 for students and teachers at schools in the Operation Peace Spring zone.

"The training provided aims to protect the people in the region and especially children from any mines/IEDs set up by terrorists in towns and in the countryside by teaching them not to touch or move these devices when they spot them but rather inform immediately the military units," said the ministry.

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 deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

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