A new follow-up counterterrorism operation was launched in eastern Siirt province in order to eradicate terrorism in Turkey, the Interior Ministry announced Friday.
Operation Lightning-11 Herekol was launched by the provincial gendarmerie command to eliminate terrorists suspected to be hiding in the region and eradicate terrorism, according to the ministry’s statement.
As many as 1,003 personnel, including Gendarmerie Special Operations units, police and security forces, are taking part in the effort, it added.
The statement further indicated that 54 terrorists have been eliminated within the scope of the Lightning operations launched on July 13, while 24 accomplices were caught, 112 caves, hideouts and depots were destroyed and a large number of arms, ammunition and materials were seized.
The Lightning operations will continue decisively, the statement added.
On Friday, the ministry also announced that three more terrorists were killed in the Lightning-10 operation in eastern Van’s Çatak district. A clash erupted between the terrorists and the gendarmerie special forces during reconnaissance activities in the region, after which the terrorists were killed and their weapons were destroyed.
Turkish security forces regularly conduct counterterrorism activities in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey, where the PKK has attempted to establish a strong presence.
The forces have adopted "ending terrorism at its root" and "attack rather than defense" strategies for operations across the country.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women and children.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Turkey nabbed a YPG/PKK terrorist trying to escape to Greece, a security source told Anadolu Agency (AA).
Anti-terror teams in Istanbul acted on a tip-off that a person – identified by the initials M. O. and active in the PKK's Syrian branch, the YPG/PKK – had entered Turkey illegally and was planning to escape to Greece, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The teams raided the group's cell house in the district of Esenler and arrested the suspect. Many documents related to the terror group and digital materials were also seized, the source added.
The suspect was remanded in custody after being referred to a court.
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