World Bulletin / News Desk
Their repatriation was made possible by Turkey’s conducting the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria to clear the region of YPG/PKK and ISIL terrorists.
Mohammad al-Vasmi, one of the returning Syrians, said he was pleased to reunite with his family.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, he said: "We have been here for four years. Everything is beautiful here [in Turkey]. It has become our second homeland after Syria. I thank the Turkish nation and army. They have cleared our hometown of terror. I missed my country. We feel safe now and we decided to return home."
The displaced Syrians were repatriated as part of a voluntary return program.
They traveled to Syria on minibusses after undergoing security checks at the Oncupinar border crossing in the southern Turkish province of Kilis.
According to customs gate officials in southern Turkey, over 60,000 Syrians have crossed into their hometown from Turkey’s Oncupinar Border Gate since Jan. 1, 2015 as part of the return program.
In 2016, Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield, a military campaign aimed at clearing ISIL terrorists from the Turkish-Syrian border region.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear terrorist groups from Afrin amid growing threats from the region.
On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated the town center of Afrin. The forces are still carrying out security sweeps for mines, improvised explosive devices, and terrorist hideouts.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating civil war that began in 2011. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict and millions more displaced, according to the UN.