By Ahmet Kaplan
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (AA) - Turkish forces seized a large cache of drugs in the southeastern Diyarbakir province, local officials said on Saturday.
The gendarmerie seized 1.7 tons of marijuana and 587,704 cannabis roots as part of Operation Yildirim-7 in Lice district, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
Five suspected drug traffickers were also arrested in the operation, it added.
Turkish authorities have been confiscating narcotics shipments owned or operated by the PKK terrorist organization since the 1980s, with the country seizing over 40 tons of marijuana in 2019 alone.
Turkey’s ongoing crackdown on drugs has helped it fight narco-terrorism and the funding of terrorist groups such as the PKK through profits from the illegal drug trade.
Operation Yildirim-7, launched on Aug. 26 with as many as 1,495 security personnel, aims at completely eliminating the PKK terror group and neutralizing all terrorists hiding out in the region.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
* Writing by Gozde Bayar