Turkish security forces have eliminated three terrorists of the PKK and its Syrian wing, the YPG, in counterterrorism operations in northern Syria and Iraq, the Defense Ministry announced Friday.
The ministry tweeted that two PKK terrorists in northern Iraq’s Gara were killed with airstrikes while a YPG terrorist was killed by commandos as the terrorist was attempting to infiltrate into the Operation Peace Spring area in Syria’s north.
The ministry further underlined that it will decisively continue to fight terrorists.
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.
Furthermore, since 2016, Turkey has also launched a trio of successful counterterrorism operations across its border in northern Syria – Euphrates Shield in 2016, Olive Branch in 2018 and Peace Spring in 2019. These operations all aimed to prevent the formation of a terrorism corridor and to enable the peaceful settlement of residents.
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.
The Interior Ministry Thursday announced that nine terrorists, eight of whom are affiliated with the PKK terrorist group, were eliminated.
The ministry said three armed terrorists were killed in eastern Van province when the special police force conducted an operation in the Çaldıran district. In southeastern Diyarbakır province, a terrorist on the ministry's wanted list was killed. The terrorist was later identified as Süleyman Öztürk, codenamed "Cilo."
Separately, Turkish security forces eliminated three armed PKK terrorists in Van. The ministry said a police special operations team took action in the Soğuksu region of the Çaldıran district.
Meanwhile, in another operation, Turkey eliminated two more PKK members in eastern Hakkari province. The armed terrorists were killed within the scope of Operation Eren-14 in the countryside of Uluyol village of the Yüksekova district and with the support of the Turkish Air Force.
"One of the two terrorists, who was killed, was identified as Zana Kılıçoğlu, codenamed 'Vejin,'" who was on Turkey's wanted list, said the ministry.
Operation Eren, named after Eren Bülbül, 15, who was killed Aug. 11, 2017, by armed PKK terrorists, began in January to eliminate terrorism in Turkey.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
The dissolution of the PKK has accelerated due to Turkey's successful counterterrorism operations and strategies both at home and abroad. In recent years, Turkey has seen record numbers of PKK terrorists giving themselves up in the face of determined domestic and cross-border counterterrorism operations.
Protests by a group of families in front of the pro-PKK Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) headquarters in Diyarbakır demanding the return of their sons and daughters, who were recruited to fight for the terrorists, has also helped increase the number of people surrendering.
Most recently, a terrorist fleeing the PKK surrendered to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) after seeking refuge in a village close to the Turkish border. The TSK contacted the family of the terrorist, who were living in Yüksekova district, and following persuasion efforts, the terrorist surrendered.
According to the Interior Ministry’s figures, at least 115 terrorists have surrendered so far this year.