REVISES NUMBER OF TERRORISTS NEUTRALIZED, CHANGES HEADLINE, DECK, LEDE
By Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak
ANKARA (AA) - Turkish security forces neutralized seven terrorists in Siirt and Mardin provinces, the Interior Ministry said early Saturday.
In a written statement, the ministry said police and the Gendarmerie – a paramilitary police force in Turkey -- carried out a counterterrorism operation in Siirt and Mardin’s rural areas.
In Siirt’s Eruh district, security forces neutralized five terrorists, the ministry said.
Two terrorists were also neutralized in Mardin’s Derik district, it added.
Turkish authorities often use the term "neutralized" in statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
Security operations are still underway, the statement added.
Though the statement did not mention any specific terrorist group, Turkish forces have been conducting operations against the PKK terrorist organization in the region for a long time.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The terrorist YPG is the PKK's Syrian branch.