By Orhan Onur Gemici and Sertac Bulur
ANKARA (AA) - Since mid August, Turkey’s Operation Kiran against the terrorist YPG/PKK has "neutralized" 116 terrorists and destroyed nearly 200 caves, shelters, and warehouses.
Turkish authorities often use the term "neutralized" to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.
According to data compiled by Anadolu Agency, 116 YPG/PKK terrorists have been neutralized so far as part of Operation Kiran, launched on Aug. 17. A large amount of weapons, ammunition, food, and survival supplies was seized, and 195 caves, shelters, and warehouses were destroyed by security forces.
On Aug. 17, Turkey launched Operation Kiran in the country's southeast against YPG/PKK terrorists in Van, Hakkari and Sirnak provinces, followed by the launch of Operation Kiran-2 on Aug. 27 in Mardin, Sirnak and Batman provinces. Four more iterations of the operation followed, including Operation Kiran-6, launched today.
Weapons seized during the operation include Kalashnikov rifles, sniper rifles, M-16 infantry rifles, Metis M-1 missile launchers, machine guns, pistols, shotguns, RPG-7 rocket launchers, AT-4 rocket launchers, anti-tank missiles, grenades, thousands of rounds of ammunition, IEDs, plastic explosives, and thousands of kilos of other explosives.
Some 52 kilos of heroin and a large amount of survival supplies were also seized.
The YPG/PKK reaps millions through the illegal drug trade in Europe.
During the operation, 89 caves, shelters and depots were destroyed,
Operation Kiran 6 is now underway in the rural areas of Van, Hakkari, and Sirnak provinces, with some 2,360 police, gendarmerie, and village guards taking party, according to the National Defense Ministry.
There are plans for the continuation and expansion of Operation Kiran, carried out under Interior Ministry coordination.
*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin