Hundreds of terrorists killed in retaliatory fire against Daesh rockets, Turkish defense minister says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 13.04.2016 16:44
Updated 13.04.2016 17:50
Turkey's Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar inspects a border outpost in southern Kilis province on April 13, 2016. A howitzer artillery is seen in the background. (IHA Photo)
Turkey's Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar inspects a border outpost in southern Kilis province on April 13, 2016. A howitzer artillery is seen in the background. (IHA Photo)

Speaking in southern city of Kilis, which was targeted by rockets fired from Daesh controlled are in northern Syria, Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said Wednesday that more than 400 terrorists have been killed in immediate retaliatory fire by Turkish military.

Yılmaz said that since January 9, 146 Daesh positions were targeted by 1,117 rounds of artillery fire with 362 confirmed deaths and 123 injuries in the terrorist organization's side. He added 34 DShK heavy machine gun and Katyusha rocket launcher positions, 40 headquarter buildings, 19 mortar positions, seven ammunition stores, one tank, one artillery piece, 17 handmade explosives and 10 bomb-laden vehicles were destroyed.

Minister Yılmaz stated that radar systems detect where rockets were fired and these positions are immediately destroyed. He said that efforts are ongoing to make the border more secure with watchtowers, radars, infrared cameras and emergency response teams, along with the wall constructed along the border and fortification of military outposts.

Pointing out that 701 people were detained while illegally crossing the border, Yılmaz said that 262 people were arrested, 97 people were released under judicial control and the remaning detainees were deported.

Regarding the concerns of locals on government services in Kilis due to the number of refugees exceeding the local population, Yılmaz said that a new hospital with 300 bed capacity will be built in the province. He added that armed ambulances will soon be deployed in Kilis and other provinces in the southeast, where medical units have constantly been targeted by PKK terror organization.

He added that works continue on establishing a secure zone within the borders of Syria, which was earlier agreed with the U.S.

Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar and the Chief of National Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan also visited the province on Wednesday to inspect the measures taken against Daesh terror group.

Kilis, which is home to large numbers of Syrian refugees exceeding its own population, has suffered repeatedly from cross-border shelling.

For the third day in a row, three rockets fired from northern Syria hit southeast Kilis on Wednesday. On Tuesday, one person was killed and eight people were injured as a result of the rockets fired from Syrian territory.

In March, eight Katyusha rockets fired from Syria fell again in Kilis province killing two citizens, one of whom was a four-year-old child.

Occasional stray rockets and mortars land in southern and southeastern Turkey due to the civil war in neighboring Syria. Despite a ceasefire in the war-torn country, violence still persists in the area.

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