Syria: Tel Rifaat locals protest YPG/PKK occupation

AZAZ, Syria

Displaced by the YPG/PKK occupation of the northern Syria city, thousands of locals from Tel Rifaat gathered Sunday in Azaz to protest against the terrorist group.

Protesters convened in the district center of Azaz, which falls in the area of Operation Euphrates Shield — Turkey’s 2016-17 anti-terror offensive in northern Syria — to demand the liberation of Tel Rifaat and surrounding villages from the YPG/PKK terrorists.

Demonstrators — living in Azaz after being displaced from Tel Rifaat due to the terrorist occupation — carried Syrian Revolution Flag, the symbol of Syrian uprisings, and banners urging the return of the displaced locals from Tel Rifaat.

Bashir Allito, a member from political office of Tel Rifaat, told Anadolu Agency that at least 200,000 locals had gathered to protest against terrorist YPG/PKK.

He called on the international community to support Turkey’s safe zone plan in Syria.

Syria: Tel Rifaat locals protest YPG/PKK occupation

“Neither the return of [Syrian] regime nor Daesh or terror group SDF to the region can ensure the stability and safety in the region,” Allito said, using another name for ISIS and PKK, respectively.

“Everybody has seen how the regime takes revenge from the public in Daraa,” he said and added that the stability and the safety of the region would only be ensured with the return of Turkey and Syrian National Army to the region.

Turkey on Oct. 9 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.

Ankara and Washington reached a deal on Oct. 17 to pause the operation for 120 hours to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the planned safe zone.

On Oct. 22, Turkey reached an agreement with Russia to force the YPG/PKK group to withdraw from the planned terror-free zone with their weapons.

Located between Afrin and Azaz, Syria’s Tel Rifaat has been under occupation of the YPG/PKK since 2016.

Some 250,000 Arabs from Tel Rifaat have sought shelter in Azaz camps, bordering Turkey. 

*Writing by Davut Demircan
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