Turkey, FSA clear YPG/PKK mines in liberated Jinderes
Turkish and Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces continue to clear recently liberated areas in Afrin, northwestern Syria of mines left behind by YPG/PKK terrorists, including the town of Jinderes.
The Jinderes town center, located in southwestern Afrin, was cleared of terrorists on Thursday during the ongoing Operation Olive Branch after heavy street fighting between Turkish and FSA forces versus YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists.
Anadolu Agency correspondents on the ground entered Jinderes on Saturday and captured footage of civilians returning to their homes as the mine clearance continues.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mohamed Rashid, a spokesman for Jaish al-Nasr, a group fighting under the Free Syrian Army umbrella, said that work to clear mines and explosives continue to ensure civilians can return safely to their homes.
Rashid said the terrorist "cowards" planted mines and hand-made explosives all over the streets and tried to use civilians as human shields.
"We call on the people to return to their homes in the cleared villages. We're in these villages temporarily, we're not here to occupy but to liberate," he said.
Local sources told Anadolu Agency that before the town's liberation, the terrorist YPG/PKK transferred civilians in Jinderes to Afrin's city center for use as human shields.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
Since the beginning of the operation, Turkish and Free Syrian Army forces have liberated 176 locations, including five town centers, 140 villages, and 31 strategic areas.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
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 also said only terror targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken to not harm civilians.