Residents of the recently-liberated Deir Ballut village in northwestern Afrin region have expressed their relief after Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces freed them from PYD/PKK-Daesh terrorists during ongoing Operation Olive Branch.
On Feb. 10, Turkish soldiers and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters cleared Deir Ballut village in Jinderes of all terror elements.
Locals told Anadolu Agency they were very happy to be rescued from the persecution of terrorists and praised the help offered by Turkish soldiers.
“May God protect Turkish soldiers and Free Syrian Army. Thank God, they provided us with food and treated patients. They rescued us from PYD/PKK,” 63-year-old Ibni Mohammed told Anadolu Agency.
“Our situation now is very very good. Right now, everything is OK,” Mohammed said.
Complaining about the PYD’s cruelty before the Operation Olive Branch, he said: “We were suffering [at that time]. Thank God, Turkish soldiers came in and rescued us from the cruelty. Hopefully, they will liberate people everywhere from the persecution.”
Emin Yawmi, a 65-year-old who is also among those who did not leave despite terror organizations’ cruelty, backed Mohammed.
“We have rejoiced when Turkish soldiers came in. They did what we’ve wanted for long. They've met our needs, including food. Thankfully, everything is fine.
“I hope it will continue like this and good days will return,” he said.
A total of 1,715 PYD/PKK-Daesh terrorists have been "neutralized" since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region, the Turkish military said on Tuesday.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from 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.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK terror group since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without a fight.
Reporting by Erdal Turkoglu:Writing by Nilay Kar