Turkish special forces, with the support of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorist group, are conducting an operation in Syria’s Afrin against militant groups that separated from FSA former units, local media reported Monday.
Local media says the group, which is believed to have around 300 men, has been engaged in illegal activities such as burglary and extortion.
The operation will continue until all former FSA militants are either neutralized or surrender to the security forces, the Hürriyet newspaper reported. A curfew was also declared in the region.
On January 20, Turkey and the Free Syrian Army launched Operation Olive Branch in Afrin. The goal of the operation was to "clear" Turkey's Syrian border of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD). In late March, Ankara announced that the district was under complete Turkish control.
SYRIA TASK FORCE
Security in Afrin is being provided by a “Syria Task Force” affiliated with the Turkish Police Special Operations Department, Anadolu Agency reported on Nov. 15.
The Syria Task Force is comprised of 12 different teams from the Special Operations Departments from Turkey’s Ankara, Hatay and Gaziantep provinces.
The nascent police organization, which was formed in accordance with the Turkish police, is composed of seven units specialized in counter-terrorism, intelligence, public order, traffic, crime-scene investigations and commandos.
Within this framework, Turkish police are providing training and guidance for the new police organization in Afrin.
Turkish police will also provide training for police units that will operate inside prisons that will soon be established in the district.
Special forces will also be deployed at the entrances and exits of highways and critical points in the region.
Moreover, the Syria Task Force will carry out joint operations with the Turkish Armed Forces and the Turkish intelligence apparatus when necessary.