By Gozde Bayar
ANKARA (AA) - Turkish security forces neutralized over 3,000 Daesh terrorists in seven months in cross-border military operations, Turkey's Defense Ministry said on Saturday.
"Our heroic Mehmetcik [Turkish soldiers] neutralized more than 3,000 Daesh [terrorists] within the scope of Euphrates Shield in seven months," the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Twitter, marking the third anniversary of the successful Operation Euphrates Shield in northwestern Syria.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
It added that Daesh began to disperse after Turkish forces took control of the town of Dabiq in northern Syria, stressing that the Turkish military ensured secure return to displaced Syrians.
In the last two years, Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, allowing hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians to return to their homes
The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed or displaced in the conflict, mainly by regime airstrikes targeting opposition-held areas.