Turkish security forces have eliminated 22 terrorists in the past 24 hours in counterterrorism operations in both Syria and Iraq, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stated Sunday.
Speaking during a visit to the Iranian border, Akar stated that 14 terrorists were killed trying to infiltrate the Operation Peace Spring area, which was liberated from terrorists.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9, 2019, to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.
The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions, aimed to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians to return to the area east of the Euphrates, which was then controlled by the U.S.-backed YPG terrorists.
Since the launch of the operation, Turkey has been supporting every aspect of life in the region, from health to education, security to agriculture. In this respect, efforts to clear bombs and improvised explosive devices were launched and administration duties were given to local councils.
Akar further stated that the Turkish air force has eliminated six terrorists in northern Iraq’s Gara region, while another two were eliminated in Hakurk.
The minister underlined that Turkey’s fight against terrorism will continue until the last terrorist is eliminated and the Turkish public freed from the plague of terrorism.
The Turkish military regularly conducts cross-border operations in northern Iraq. Turkey has long been stressing that it will not tolerate terrorist threats posed against its national security and has called on Iraqi officials to take the necessary steps to eliminate the terrorist group. Ankara previously noted that if the expected steps were not taken, it would not shy away from targeting terrorist threats.
Turkey launched Operations Claw-Lightning and Claw-Thunderbolt on April 23 in northern Iraq’s Metina and Avaşin-Basyan regions near its borders.
Numerous PKK terrorist hideouts and bases are located in northern Iraq, from where they carry out attacks on Turkey.
Meanwhile, Turkey continues to battle terrorism within its borders. Turkish security forces have eliminated 137 members of the PKK and YPG throughout July with internal and cross-border counterterrorism operations.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women and children.
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