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Turkey’s Diyanet spends $1.6 million to repair mosques in northern Syria

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Turkey’s top religious authority has spent over 10 million Turkish lira ($1.6 million) to repair mosques and religious buildings damaged in northern Syria, the state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

In a new report titled “Syria Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch Activity Report,” the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) provided details on its activities in the fields of humanitarian aid, religion and education in northern Syria.

The directorate repaired 108 mosques damaged during armed conflict in Jarabulus, Azaz, Al-Bab, Rai, Mare, Turkman Bareh, Ihtimlat and Ahterin, according to the report.

It spent over 10 million Turkish lira ($1.6 million) on restoration and renovation.

The Diyanet released 30 videos in Arabic on social media in order to counteract the religious views of Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL]) terrorist group, the report said.

The foundation also delivered leaflets to locals in the fight against the exploitation of religion and violence. In order to fill the gap in religion caused by the conflict, Qurans in Kurdish were also supplied, it added.

Operation Euphrates Shield, which began on Aug. 24, 2016 and ended in March 2017, aimed to eliminate the terrorist threat along the border in the northern Syrian regions of Jarabulus, Al-Rai, Al-Bab and Azaz with the help of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), backed by Turkish artillery and air cover.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Syrian Kurdish militant group, and ISIL terrorists from Afrin. On March 18, Turkish troops and the FSA captured the Afrin district center.

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