49 top terrorists captured in first half of 2019

Published 17.06.2019 00:24

Turkish security forces have captured 49 senior terrorists since the beginning of the year, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said yesterday.

Highlighting the success of Turkey's counterterrorism operations, Soylu said another 100 terrorists were killed in a month.

The minister, however, did not mention which group the terrorists belonged to. Usually, Turkish counterterrorism operations mostly focus on the country's eastern and southeastern provinces, where the PKK usually operates.

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 they carry out attacks in Turkey.

Meanwhile, eight terrorists were killed in the southeastern province of Şırnak, Soylu said in a statement yesterday. The statement said the gendarmerie forces neutralized the terrorists in an operation in Idil district.

Simultaneous operations also take place in Northern Iraq, under the scope of the Operation Claw. Seven terrorists have been killed there, according to a Defense Ministry statement yesterday. The air operations were conducted in coordination with ongoing Operation Claw in Hakurk region, which was launched by the TSK against the PKK terror group on May 27, the ministry said in a statement. The airstrikes also destroyed weapons depots and shelters used by PKK terrorists, according to the statement.

According to an official statement released yesterday, the total number of terrorists killed in the operation so far has reached 76.

Launched in May, Operation Claw seeks to clear Northern Iraq's Qandil mountains and Hakurk region from the PKK terrorists. The Hakurk region is among the main locations PKK terrorists use to infiltrate Turkey or attack Turkish border outposts. The area is located some 30-to-40 kilometers south of the Derecik district of southeastern Hakkari province, bordering Iraq, and currently serves as the main base for terrorists between their headquarters in the Qandil mountains near the border with Iran and Turkey.

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