By Omer Koparan and Adham Kako
AZAZ, Syria (AA) – Turkey's Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MUSIAD) on Thursday opened a new branch in northern Syria's opposition-held Azaz region to support trade in the country.
The association aims to contribute to the normalization and development of the region, Ibrahim Uyar, the head of MUSIAD's foreign organization and development commission, told Anadolu Agency.
The number of MUSIAD's branches reached 212, Uyar added.
"In order to enhance trade relations in the region, we opened this branch with the chambers of commerce in Azez, Afrin, Jarablus, Bab and Mare," he said.
Uyar said the association eyes to improve trade in regions where the terrorist threat has been eliminated by removing the obstacles against conducting trade.
"In the second phase, we will work on establishing free trade zones. We believe that there will be no normalization without trade," Uyar added.
Azaz is among the regions in which Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, with the use of the Free Syrian Army, eliminated the terrorist threat. The operation began in August 2016 and ended in March 2017.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.