The General Director of the Bab al-Salama Border Crossing in the city of Azaz in northern Syria, Qassem al-Qassem, said that 3,421 Syrians had permanently returned to their country from Turkey over the Eid al-Adha holiday because of the security established in their areas after the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations.
Qassem said in a statement carried by the Anadolu Agency that Turkish authorities had provided a chance for Syrians living in Turkey to visit their country during the holidays and then return again to Turkey.
He said that in this context, tens of thousands of Syrians had visited their country during Eid al-Adha in August.
He said that, “about 32,419 Syrians returned to Turkey, while 3,421 preferred to remain in their country because of the security established in their areas after the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations carried out by the Turkish army against terrorist groups in northern Syria.”
Qassem expressed his confidence that the number of Syrians returning from Turkey to their country would rise after the liberation of Manbij and Tel Rifaat from terrorist groups.
During Operation Euphrates Sheild, Turkish forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) were able during to clear large portions of the northern Aleppo countryside, including the cities of al-Bab and Jarablus, of the Islamic State between August 2016 and March 2017, which allowed thousands of Syrians to return to their homes.
On Mar. 24, 2018, The Turkish army in cooperation with the FSA was able to expel the Kurdish People’s Protection Units from Afrin entirely with Operation Olive Branch.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.