Around 370,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey voluntarily return to terror-free areas of their home country, said Turkey’s vice president on Tuesday.
“Around 370,000 people from our country have returned to areas cleared of terror,” Fuat Oktay told the International Forum on Local Solutions to Migration and Displacement in southeastern Gaziantep province.
“We are putting all services, especially in areas of security, health, education and shelter, road, water and electricity, into use of Syrians without any discrimination,” Oktay added.
He reiterated that Ankara is determined to form the peace corridor regardless of foreign support.
Oktay highlighted that Turkey’s anti-terror operations formed safe areas in Syria and helped normalization of life in those areas.
Operation Euphrates Shield and its successors Operation Olive Branch in 2018 and Operation Peace Spring — launched on Oct. 9 — all aim to eliminate terrorist elements near Turkey’s borders, including Daesh/ISIS and the YPG/PKK.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU — has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.