Turkish security forces eliminated 13 terrorists from the PKK's Syrian branch, the YPG, in northern Syria's Operation Euphrates Shield zone, Turkey's Defense Ministry announced Wednesday.
It was stated that the terrorists were in preparation for an attack.
In a social media post, the ministry said: "Another heavy blow to terrorists from our heroic commandos! Thirteen PKK/YPG terrorists, who were determined to be preparing to attack in the Euphrates Shield region in northern Syria, were neutralized with the successful intervention of our Turkish Armed Forces."
Based on Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield on Aug. 24, 2016, using its right of self-defense to eradicate terrorist elements that threatened its national security, primarily Daesh, and ensure the security of the border in northern Syria.
On the first day of the operation, the Syrian town of Jarablus, which borders the Karkamış district of Turkey's southeastern Gaziantep province, was liberated from terrorist elements. On Feb. 23, 2017, the northwestern town of al-Bab was freed from Daesh terrorists.
During the operation, an area of 2,055 square kilometers (793 square miles) between the two towns was also cleared from terrorist groups in 217 days. Turkish soldiers and the Syrian National Army (SNA) eliminated more than 3,000 Daesh terrorists in almost seven months.
On March 29, 2017, then Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım announced that the operation was successfully completed. At the end of the operation, Turkey focused on providing security and stability in the region to create the necessary conditions for the return of civilians displaced due to terrorism.
To that end, security forces and officials trained in Turkey started operating in the region. Through Turkey's initiatives and support in health, education and public services, the population in the region has reached almost 2 million.
Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful counterterrorism operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents – namely, the Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019) operations.
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