UPDATES WITH ANTI-TERROR OPERATION IN TURKEY; REVISES INTRO, HEADLINE, DECK
By Ahmet Gencturk and Aykut Karadag
ANKARA (AA) – Fourteen PKK terrorists were neutralized in Turkish security operations in Turkey and northern Iraq on Wednesday.
Two terrorists were neutralized when Turkish T-129 ATAK helicopters targeted a hideout in the Operation Pence Simsek region, the National Defense Ministry on Twitter.
Six more terrorists were targeted in a joint operation by Turkish forces and the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) in Iraq’s Gara region, said a security source, requesting anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Another six PKK terrorists were neutralized in the Bagok region of Turkey’s southeastern Mardin province as part of the ongoing Eren Winter-8 anti-terror operation, the Turkish Interior Ministry said in a statement.
Turkish authorities use the word “neutralize” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
PKK terrorists often hide out in northern Iraq, across Turkey’s southern border, to plan terrorist attacks in Turkey.
The Pence operations are a series of offensives Turkey has carried out since 2019 against terror groups in northern Iraq, particularly the PKK.
Operations Pence-Kaplan and Pence-Kartal were initiated in June last year, while Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim were launched this April in Iraq’s Metina and Avasin-Basyan regions.
This year, Turkey started the Operation Eren series, named after Eren Bulbul, a 15-year-old killed by the PKK in August 2017, to eliminate terrorists in the country’s eastern and southeastern regions.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar