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Terrorists force Afrin residents to dig ditches


Terrorists are using civilians to dig kilometer-long ditches to block operations by Turkish-led forces in Afrin, northwestern Syria, APA reports quoting Anadolu agency.

 

Local security sources who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists are trying to increase fortifications in Afrin and are preparing new tactics.

 

The sources said the terrorist groups force residents, including children, to dig two-meter deep and two-meter wide ditches around Afrin’s center and build three-meter high defensive walls, making living conditions more difficult for local residents.

 

Using the civilians as human shields, the terrorists are preventing residents who demand to leave the city from heading for safer places.

 

They are also trying to portray the city as a "so-called Kurdish canton" with posters and banners of the terror organization hanging in the city center, the sources added.

 

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from the region.

 

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 terrorist oppression and cruelty.

 

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.

 

Both the military and Turkish authorities have repeatedly said that the operation is targeting only terrorist elements and "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming any civilians.

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