By Mumin Altas
At least 4,403 terrorists have been “neutralized" since the launch of Operation Olive Branch in Syria, Turkish military said on Saturday.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and that the "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.
A total of 14 PKK terrorists including two senior members, were "neutralized" in Turkey's southeastern and eastern provinces of Hakkari, Diyarbakir, Sirnak, and northern Iraq between April 28 and May 5, the Turkish military said.
Separately, one Turkish soldier was martyred and four others injured in a counterterrorism operation.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU. In over 30 years of violence against Turkey, more than 40,000 people have been killed.
The group uses northern Iraq’s mountainous border region to launch attacks on Turkey and has its main base at Mt. Qandil, near the Iraq-Iran border.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.