YPG/PKK turns Syria’s Tal Rifaat into war zone: drone footage

The PKK terrorist group’s Syrian offshoot, YPG, has been digging entrenchments in the Syrian border town of Tal Rifaat near the Turkish border, as officials said Turkey is considering launching a new counterterrorism operation amid threats.

According to drone footage recorded by aHaber TV, the YPG/PKK terrorists are busy digging trenches and have turned the village of Sheikh Isa into a military headquarters. The village has been used as the launching area for recent attacks targeting Turkey.

They have also forcefully confiscated homes of local residents in the area, where no civilians can be seen on the streets.

The terrorists have had control of Tal Rifaat for the past five years and have forced 250,000 people to migrate toward the Turkish border.

Turkey is considering targeting Tal Rifaat and Azaz in counterterrorism operations following attacks on security forces and civilians.

While President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently urged Russia to ensure the YPG/PKK terrorists withdraw from the area as part of a previous deal, he told a recent cabinet meeting that Turkey would take “necessary steps” in Syria.

Turkish officials note that Moscow has failed to follow through on its promises to control the YPG/PKK in Syria, with the terrorist organization staging several attacks in the safe zones the Syrian National Army has formed with the support of Turkey.

The YPG/PKK, which occupies roughly a third of Syria’s territory with the support of the U.S., frequently targets Azaz, Marea, Al-Bab, Jarablus, Afrin, Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain in the north of the country with heavy weapons.

In their attacks, the terrorists use advanced heavy weapons such as TOW missiles, multi barrel rocket launchers, Katyusha and Grad missiles as well as U.S. and Russian-made rocket launchers and mortars.

The Tal Rifaat area of Aleppo, located 18 kilometers (11 miles) from the Turkish border, stands out during these attacks.

The YPG/PKK, which captured Tal Rifaat in February 2016 with Russian air support, is attacking Turkish security forces and opposition fighters’ positions that are providing security to settlements in the Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch regions.

The most attacked area after Tal Rifaat is the Manbij region of Aleppo, located 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from the Turkish border, and Ain al-Arab (Kobani) district on the border.

The YPG/PKK also threatens the security of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain districts located in the Operation Peace Spring zone on the Syria-Turkey border.

The terrorist group also fires mortars and heat-seeking missiles over the villages of Tal Tamr, Tal Derdara and Abu Ras Ain in the Ras al-Ain countryside.

In addition to carrying out car bombings in civilian settlements, the YPG/PKK feeds the conflict environment by making attempts to infiltrate positions of the Syrian National Army on the front lines from time to time.

The YPG/PKK has killed hundreds of civilians since 2016, especially by targeting hospitals, schools and crowded civilian settlements with its attacks.

The terrorist group wants to prevent the return of civilians to their lands by intimidating them.

The organization, which sent bomb-laden vehicles from the occupied territories to the safe areas in the north, carried out numerous attacks against Turkish security forces, Syrian National Army elements and Turkish Armed Forces members who ensured security in the field.

Two Turkish police officers were killed and two others were wounded after the YPG/PKK carried out an attack in Azaz in northern Syria on Sunday.

The terrorists on Monday also fired ammunition that landed in two areas and caused explosions in southern Gaziantep province’s Karkamış district across the border from Jarablus, Syria.

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