Success of Turkey’s cross-border anti-terror operations has enabled voluntary return of over 414,000 Syrians, the Turkish interior minister said on Thursday.
“Thanks to the security provided by our cross-border operations, 414,061 Syrians have voluntarily returned to their country so far,” Suleyman Soylu said.
According to the UN refugee agency, “Turkey currently hosts some 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees along with close to 370,000 persons of concern from other nationalities.”
Syria has been ravaged by a civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN estimates.
Since 2016, Turkey has launched four successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable peaceful settlement by locals: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), Peace Spring (2019), and Spring Shield (2020).
* Writing by Seda Sevencan in Ankara.
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