Turkey has launched a large-scale counterterrorism operation to thwart potential attacks this winter, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.
In order to cut all logistical supply chains of terrorist groups, prevent terrorist activities and ensure the surrender of terrorists this fall and winter, intelligence-based operations have started, the ministry said in a statement.
No terrorist organization was named in the statement, but the PKK terrorist group has been active in Turkey's east and southeast.
Gendarmerie, police teams and village guards will take part in the planned 7,424 operations to be carried out between Oct. 7 and April 15.
The ministry had planned for some 6,000 operations this spring and summer but ended up carrying out over 8,500. The ministry noted that 346 terrorists were "neutralized" in these operations, which took place between April 15 and Sept. 30. Some 145 of these terrorists either surrendered or were captured in the operations, the ministry noted.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralize" to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were either killed or captured.
Turkish security forces also destroyed 442 shelters and 246 improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and captured 282 weapons and ammunition used by terrorists in the spring and summer operations.
In its more than 30-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, children and infants.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also regularly conducts cross-border operations in northern Iraq, a region where PKK terrorists have hideouts and bases from which to carry out attacks in Turkey. Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) also previously called the PKK's presence in Sinjar unacceptable and urged the militants to leave the area.
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