Turkish security forces neutralized three PKK terrorists, one of which was on the Interior Ministry's most wanted list, during a counterterrorism operation in southeastern Mardin province, local officials said Tuesday.
Provincial Gendarmerie Forces launched a raid on a shelter used by the PKK terrorist group located in a rural area of the Yumurtalı neighborhood of Dargeçit district on Monday evening, neutralizing three terrorists after a clash with the members of the terrorist group, the Mardin governor's office said in a statement.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
One of the terrorists, whose codename was identified as "Dilxwaz", was in the gray category of the Interior Ministry's terror list and sought with a TL 300,000 ($55,000) bounty on his head , the statement added.
Wanted terrorists are categorized by different color groups - red, blue, green, orange and gray - depending on the level of threat they pose for the country's national security. Red is considered the highest threat level.
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 carry out cross-border operations in northern Iraq, a region where PKK terrorists have hideouts and bases from which to carry out attacks in Turkey.
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. The terrorist organization isn't just active in Turkey but operates throughout the region, particularly in Syria and Iraq. The Turkish government has repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to eradicate the PKK threat. If not, Ankara says the TSK will exercise its rights and launch a cross-border operation in the area, as it did during Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch in Syria.