By Fahri Aksut
ANKARA (AA) - At least seven YPG/PKK terrorists were “neutralized” in an air-backed operation in northern Syria's Ayn al-Arab district on Thursday, said Turkey’s National Defense Ministry.
In a Twitter post, the ministry said the terrorists -- who had attacked the Turkish forces in the anti-terror Operation Peace Spring area -- were detected during reconnaissance and surveillance missions in the rural area of Ayn al-Arab.
The terrorists were “neutralized” by armed unmanned aerial vehicles, the ministry added.
Authorities often use the word “neutralized” in statements to imply terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara agreed with Washington on Oct. 17 to pause its operation to allow YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the planned safe zone.
On Oct. 22, Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists would pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey’s border with Syria within 150 hours, and security forces from Turkey and Russia would mount joint patrols there.