Turkey neutralizes 154 terrorists in April: Defense Ministry

Published 29.04.2019 12:56
Updated 29.04.2019 16:43
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Turkish security forces have neutralized 154 terrorists since April 4, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement Monday.

Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

A Defense Minister official on Monday said Turkish fighter jets neutralized 14 PKK terrorists in northern Iraq. An air operation in the Zap region late Sunday neutralized terrorists who were hiding out in a cave, Col. Tamer Zincir told reporters in the capital Ankara.

The ministry said Sunday on Twitter that Turkish fighter jets had hit targets in the Haftanin regions, destroying weapon emplacements, shelters and ammunition depots used by PKK terrorists.

Operations are ongoing to clear the PKK terrorist group from the region, particularly along Turkey's southeastern border with Iraq.

The Turkish military regularly conducts cross-border operations in northern Iraq, a region where PKK terrorists have hideouts and bases from which to carry out attacks in Turkey.

In one particularly aggressive operation in the Iraqi border region on April 19, four Turkish soldiers were killed in action and at least 20 PKK terrorists were neutralized.

A wanted senior PKK terrorist – Mehmet Soysüren, codenamed Savaş Porsipi – who oversaw the group's special forces was killed in a counterterror operation in northern Iraq on April 9.

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 nearly 40,000 people, including many women and children.

Turkey's operations against YPG in Syria

Col. Zincir also said Monday that 322,762 Syrian citizens voluntarily returned to their homes thanks to Turkey's efforts to normalize daily life in the Afrin district of northern Syria.

In the region where Turkey conducted Operation Olive Branch, 4,612 terrorists have been neutralized since the operation began, Zincir said.

Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20, 2018, to remove the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) from Afrin. The Turkish military and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) entered Afrin town center and liberated it from terrorists on March 18, 2018. Since the operations, Turkey has been rebuilding the town's infrastructure and health and education institutions.

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