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Turkish troops take control of Tal Abyad, Ras al-Ain in Syria: minister

Hulusi Akar

Turkish troops have taken control of the Syrian border towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced on Monday, according to the Hürriyet Daily News.

“Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain are under our control. Work for the control of the region is ongoing,” he told reporters after a meeting with Meral Akşener, leader of the opposition İYİ (Good) Party.

Akar had a round of meetings with the political parties in parliament. He also visited the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and was to meet with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli.

“We are pleased to see the support given Turkey by the residents of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain,” he said.

Turkey is determined to do its best on the issue of camps holding Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists in Syria, Akar said. Reports show that only one prison where ISIL militants are held lies within the area of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring.

“When we got there, we saw that the ISIL prison was empty. We suspect the Kurdish militia let the inmates out,” he said.

Turkish security forces took visuals of the situation and discussed it with the “interlocutors” there, he added.

Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria.

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