Middle East

Turkish-Backed Militants Abduct over 30 Syrians in North: Report

Turkish-backed Takfiri militants raided houses in the countryside of the Syrian Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain along the border with Turkey in Hasakah province, abducting more than 30 residents, a report said.

According to the report carried by SANA, “Turkish occupation forces and their mercenaries raided houses in the village of Tal Helf in Ras al-Ain countryside in Hasaka province, and set up roadblocks at its entrances”.

The “abducted more than 30 of the village’s residents and took them to an unknown destination,” the report added.

Ankara-backed militants were deployed to northeastern Syria last October after Turkish military forces launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion in a declared attempt to push militants of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) away from border areas.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

On October 22 last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted YPG militants had to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled “safe zone” in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow would run joint patrols around the area.

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