Turkish security forces have killed eight YPG/PKK terrorists and captured a senior terrorist leader as part of counterterrorism operations in northern Iraq, northern Syria and eastern Turkey, the defense and interior ministries said Friday.
According to a statement by the Defense Ministry, Turkish security forces killed a PKK/YPG terrorist in Operation Euphrates Shield region, three in Operation Olive Branch region and two others in Operation Peace Spring area in northern Syria.
The terrorists were trying to infiltrate and attack the areas cleared by the Turkish military, the ministry said.
Gendarmerie units captured Mahmut Okay, codenamed “Hayri Mava,” the terrorist group’s alleged leader in charge of the eastern Erzurum area during road security checks in the Varto district in Muş province, the Interior Ministry said.
The terrorist opened fire on security forces and was injured in clashes, the ministry said, adding that another terrorist accompanying and assisting him was also captured in the operation.
Listed in the Interior Ministry’s orange category, the terrorist was sought with a TL 1 million ($149,889) bounty on his head.
The Interior Ministry's Most Wanted list is divided into five color-coded categories, with red marking the most wanted, followed by blue, green, orange and gray, depending on the sensitivity of their criminal activity.
Meanwhile, two YPG/PKK terrorists were killed in an air operation in northern Iraq's Haftanin region, the Defense Ministry said on Twitter.
PKK terrorists often take shelter in northern Iraq to plan cross-border terrorist attacks in Turkey.
The statement added that counterterrorism operations in the region would continue without pause.
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 and bases. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also carries out cross-border operations in northern Iraq, a region where PKK terrorists have hideouts and bases from which to carry out attacks in Turkey, with particular attention paid to targeting high-level terrorists.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children.