UPDATE WITH MORE NEUTRALIZED TERRORISTS; CHANGES WITH HEADLINE,LEDE
By Muhammed Ali Toruntay
ANKARA (AA) – Turkish security forces neutralized 19 PKK terrorists in northern Iraq and Syria, the country’s National Defense Ministry said Thursday.
In a statement, the ministry said that a total of 14 terrorists have been neutralized as part of Turkiye’s Operation Claw-Lock in northern Iraq.
The ministry said the air operation targeted the terror zones in the region, adding the Turkish forces are determined to continue fighting terrorists.
Moreover, the ministry announced later that five YPG/PKK terrorists were neutralized in northern Syria.
The terrorists were planning to attack Turkiye’s Operation Peace Spring area, the ministry said on Twitter.
Turkish authorities use the term “neutralize” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).
Turkiye launched Operation Claw-Lock last month to target PKK hideouts in northern Iraq’s Metina, Zap, and Avasin-Basyan regions. It followed Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle, which were launched in 2020, to root out terrorists who hide in northern Iraq and plot cross-border attacks in Turkiye.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.