Civilians return to Shenkal village in Afrin : Officials

According to Mikrofonnews Agency (MHA), dozens of civilians are returning back to Shenkal village in Afrin, after the area was cleared of terrorists during Operation Olive Branch, officials say.

The village was among the first areas on Afrin, north-west of Syria, which was freed during the military operation by Turkish forces and Free Syrian Army. Terrorists, who had many hideouts in Shenkal, were threating security of Kilis, and several other border towns in Turkey for many years.

The mountains in the area had become a safe haven for the terrorists in recent years. Now Free Syrian Army is patrolling in the area after it was re-captured during the Operation Olive Branch. Turkish forces along with Free Syrian Army were welcomed warmly by the local residents in the area.

Aysha Mahmoud one of the locals who were returning to Shenkal after the end of military operation, thanked the Turkish and Free Syrian Army as she was entering the village. Aysha told Anadolu Agency that her sons were forced to get weapon and fight in the area by terrorists of PYD/PKK.

“I protest against the decision and since then they took hostage my husband and three children. I have no information about them. I pray for them and I hope I will see them again. After we heard that our village is cleared of terrorists, we returned to our homes”, said Aysha Mahmoud.

“We were threatened by terrorists all the time, but we are very happy now that they are gone, said Aysha” appreciating Turkish forces and its government.