Turkey destroys 40 mines, 227 explosives in N. Syria

Turkish security forces have destroyed 40 mines and 227 improvised explosives in its anti-terror operation in northern Syria, the country's National Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a meeting in Russia's Black Sea resort town of Sochi.

Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey's border with northern Syria within 150 hours and security forces from Turkey and Russia will conduct joint patrols there.

The ministry is working with Russian officials on mechanisms for the implementation of the Sochi agreement, Lt. Cmdr. Nadide Sebnem Aktop, ministry spokeswoman, told reporters in the capital Ankara.

"Loaves of bread prepared in the oven set up by the Turkish Armed Forces in Tal Abyad, Syria were distributed among local people in the region and health support was also provided to them at the first aid station, Aktop said.

Meanwhile, military sources said that the explosions in the operation area were caused by destruction of mines and handmade explosives during sweep and clear activities.

The military sources also said that Turkey and Russia are coordinately monitoring the withdrawal of terrorists from the region under the Sochi deal.

Turkey received a system, two batteries, and all the ammunition of the Russian S-400 missile defense systems, the military sources said, adding that training is under way.

The sources also reiterated that the Turkish Armed Forces does not have white phosphorus bullet in its inventory so claims against it are disinformation.

As in Turkey's previous operations in Syria -- Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch -- local administrations and law enforcement forces will be formed in Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn which were cleared of terrorists with Operation Peace Spring.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

Source: Anadolu Agency