Russian-backed YPG/PKK threatens safe zones in Syria

YPG/PKK stages frequent attacks in Azaz, Marea, Al Bab, Jarablus, Afrin, Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn in northern Syria.

Russian-backed YPG/PKK threatens safe zones in Syria

Russia has not followed 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 US, frequently targets Azaz, Marea, Al Bab, Jarablus, Afrin, Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn 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 and Katyusha and Grad missiles as well as US 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 which are providing security in the settlements in the Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch regions.

The YPG/PKK displaced approximately 250,000 civilians in Tal Rifaat who sought refuge in areas close to the Turkish border.

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

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

The terrorist group also fires mortars and heat-seeking missiles over the villages of Tal Tamr, Tell Derdara and Abu Ras Ayn to the Ras al-Ayn 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.

Terrorists try to intimidate civilians in safe zone

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

In this way, the terror group wants to prevent the return of civilians to their lands by scaring them away.

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 Karkamis district across the border from Jarablus, Syria.

Russia's assurances remain unfulfilled

Russia had committed to removing the terrorist organization from Tal Rifaat and Manbij after reaching an agreement with Turkey during Operation Peace Spring in October 2019.

Moscow also promised that the terrorists would be removed 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from the border on the M4 road and in the area outside the Operation Peace Spring area.

But its commitments were not fulfilled.

Likewise, on the eighth day of Operation Peace Spring during a visit by then-US Vice President Mike Pence to Turkey, the American side promised that the organization would withdraw 32 kilometers (19.8 miles) south from the border. However, the agreement was rendered useless, as the American army allowed Russian forces to enter the places they left. The Russian military presence was widespread in the region.