Middle East

Turkey 'neutralizes' 4 PKK terrorists in Iraq, Syria

Terrorists targeted in areas of Turkey's cross-border anti-terror operations, says National Defense Ministry

Baris Gundogan   | 03.12.2021
Turkey 'neutralizes' 4 PKK terrorists in Iraq, Syria


Turkish security forces "neutralized" four PKK terrorists in northern areas of Iraq and Syria, Turkey's National Defense Ministry said on Friday.

Turkish authorities often use the term "neutralized" in statements to imply the terrorists in question surrendered, were killed, or captured.

In a statement, the ministry said two terrorists were neutralized in the areas of Operation Pence-Yildirim and one in the Zap region in northern Iraq, while another terrorist was neutralized in the Operation Peace Spring area in northern Syria.

The terrorist PKK often uses bases in northern Iraq, just across Turkey's southern border, to plot terror attacks in Turkey, and the YPG/PKK has tried to establish a terror corridor in northern Syria, targeting both Turkish soldiers and border areas.

Turkey has carried out a series of offensives since 2019 against terrorist groups in northern Iraq, particularly the PKK. The latest operations Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim were launched this April in the Metina and Avasin-Basyan regions. Earlier, Turkey launched Operations Pence-Kaplan and Pence-Kartal in June 2020.

Also, since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).

In its over 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.

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