Eliminating terrorists from Mount Bursaya, which has been the base for the YPG’s armories and ammunition, will help Turkey reduce the terror threat at its border and protect civilians in Syria.
Turkish armed forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Sunday captured Mount Bursaya in Afrin, Syria, denying YPG/PKK a strategic peak it has used to launch attacks on civilians in both Turkey and Syria.
“The Turkish Armed Forces captured Mt Bursaya, as part of Operation Olive Branch. Activities continue to clear terrorists from the area,” said the Turkish General Staff in a statement.
The capture came after Turkish forces and FSA fighters advanced on the peak from the northwestern Syrian city of Azaz.
Air strikes followed as YPG/PKK towers and positions on the mountain took heavy artillery fire from Turkish forces.
A few hours after recapturing the strategic peak, forces also took full control of the Qestel Cindo village which is located in south of Mount Bursaya, FSA sources told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.
The Bursaya Mountain is in northeastern Afrin and has been cleared of the YPG.
TRT World’s Sara Firth has more from the Turkey-Syria border.
Why is Bursaya strategically important?
The Bursaya mountain, which lies in the north of Azaz along the Turkish border, was an active frontline as it has been the base for the YPG’s armoury and ammunition.
However, it was difficult to pass through. From Bursaya up to Qafrjannah, it’s a hilly area where the largest number of YPG terrorists are based, and is also the path to Afrin.
TRT World‘s Hasan Abdullah reports the latest from Turkish capital Ankara.
The YPG has used Bursaya to target civilians in the centre of Turkey’s Kilis province and Syria’s Azaz district through mortar shells, artillery and missiles.
On Wednesday, two civilians were killed by a YPG/PKK attack on a mosque in Kilis. On Saturday, at least three civilians, including a child, were injured by YPG/PKK rockets in Kilis and Hatay.
Turkish fighter jets destroyed most of the area in the first couple of days of Operation Olive Branch. The FSA, on the other hand, has been shelling it since last year.
But the battle there had intensified further early on Sunday as Turkish-backed forces continued to rid more territories of the terrorists.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on January 20 to remove YPG/PKK and Daesh from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
The operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.