As Turkish security forces continue to deal a heavy blow to terrorism with both interior and cross-border counterterrorism operations, 66 so-called high-ranking members of terror groups have been eliminated so far this year.
Sixty-two of the high-ranking members were listed on Turkey’s most-wanted list, which is divided into five color-coded categories, with red as the most wanted, followed by blue, green, orange and gray. Three of the so-called high-ranking members were sought in the red category, two in the blue, one in green, 17 in orange, 39 in gray while the remaining four were not on the list but were still found to be high-ranking.
Within the scope of internal anti-terror operations, security forces have eliminated 711 terrorist members, 506 who belong to the PKK, 186 to Daesh, al-Qaida and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and 19 to leftist terrorist groups.
According to security sources, 76,235 operations were carried out this year so far, 65,929 of which were conducted in rural areas and 10,306 of which were conducted in urban areas.
Turkish security forces regularly conduct counterterrorism operations 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 30-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, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.
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