Turkey has sent hundreds of special operations teams and volunteer village guards into Syria’s Afrin district, where “Operation Olive Branch” against Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants has been ongoing since Jan. 20.
“God willing, you will perform your duties and return safe and sound,” Police Special Operations Chief Selami Türker said at a ceremony in Ankara on Feb. 22, bidding farewell to 150 special operations police officers being sent to Afrin.
In the southern Turkish province of Hatay, on the border with Syria, Deputy Governor Orhan Mardinli attended the ceremony held to send two teams of 22 special operations police officers into Afrin on Feb. 22.
“There are experienced men among you. You will perform an important task there,” Mardinli said, referring to security operations targeting outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in residential areas of several southeastern provinces of Turkey.