MİDDLE EAST

Turkey’s Gendarmerie, Police Special Forces to join Afrin op

Gendarmerie and Police Special Forces units to be stationed in residential areas cleared of terror elements as part of Operation Olive Branch

Editor / Internet Yeni Şafak

Turkey’s Gendarmerie Special Forces and Police Special Forces will take part in operations in residential areas as part of the ongoing Operation Olive Branch, Habertürk daily reported on Thursday.

The forces who volunteered for the operation were trained at the commando school in Foça, a district in the İzmir province. The units are due to take part in Operation Olive Branch.

Military department commands Special Forces units

The gendarmerie units, which are connected to the Interior Ministry under the state of emergency, may fall under the command of the military department in case of martial law, mobilization or war.

If the Chief of Staff requests and the Interior Minister accepts, the Special Forces units may fulfill military duties. Orders have been prepared in this regard for both Gendarmerie Special Forces and Police Special Forces.

These troops, who have experience and training regarding conflict in residential areas, will be on duty to establish order, mostly in areas that are cleared of terror elements.

Previously in Operation Euphrates Shield, these units served in Syria’s towns such as al-Bab, Azaz, Jarabulus and Mare.

In the wide-ranging Operation Euphrates Shield launched in August 2016, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) with the support of the Turkish army had cleared 2,000 square kilometers (772 square miles) of land along the Turkish-Syrian border of terrorist elements.

To follow up this counterterrorism operation, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 in Afrin to establish security and stability, eliminate PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists, and save locals from their oppression and cruelty.

Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK terror group since July 2012, when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.

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