Feb 18 2019

More than 300,000 Syrians returned home, Turkish interior minister says

More than 300,000 Syrian refugees have returned home from Turkey after two Turkish cross-border operations, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said Monday.

There are 3,644,342 Syrians registered in Turkey, the ministry said, including 475,000 Syrians who fled from areas of Syria controlled by the Kurdish U.S.-backed People's Protection Units (YPG).

A total of 311,968 Syrians refugees have gone back to their country following Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch that ended in March last year and Operation Euphrates Shield that ended in March 2017, independent news site Diken quoted the interior minister as saying.

Turkey, which designates the YPG a terrorist organisation and has vowed to destroy it, announced in December plans for a further military operation targeting the group.

Soylu also said Turkey had intercepted 6,523 migrants attempting to reach Europe illegally in the first five weeks of the year.