Turkish security forces 'neutralized' nearly 1,000 terrorists since Jan. 1

Turkish security forces 'neutralized' nearly 1,000 terrorists since Jan. 1

53 terrorists ‘neutralized’ last week, including ones hiding out across border in Iraq, northern Syria, says National Defense Ministry official

By Diyar Guldogan

Türkiye has "neutralized" a total of 995 PKK/YPG terrorists since Jan. 1, including ones hiding out across the border in Iraq and northern Syria, the National Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

"Fifty-three terrorists have been neutralized in the last week, including ones in Iraq and northern Syria, with the strategy of eliminating terrorism at its source, which we resolutely implement," a National Defense Ministry official told reporters at a background briefing in the capital Ankara.

The total number of terrorists “neutralized” during the year has now reached 995, he added.

Turkish authorities use the term “neutralize” to imply that the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

His remarks came a day after five Turkish soldiers were killed in the harassment fire opened by the terrorist organization in northern Iraq, where Türkiye launched Operation Claw-Lock last year in April to root out terrorists hiding in the border region.

The ministry official said: "586 terrorists have been neutralized so far in the Claw-Lock Operation in northern Iraq."

In Syria, the official said, all necessary measures are taken to maintain security and stability in the operation areas, and terrorist attacks are responded to in kind.

Since this January, 86 harassment incidents and attacks have been carried out by the PKK/YPG terrorist group in Türkiye's operation areas, and 744 terrorists were “neutralized” with the immediate intervention of Turkish soldiers, he added.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the terrorist PKK’s Syrian branch.

On illegal crossings into Türkiye, the official said thanks to additional effective measures, some 4,752 people, including 356 terrorists, who tried to illegally cross Türkiye's borders have been caught since Jan. 1. Nearly 134,935 were prevented before they crossed the border.

Türkiye has been a key transit point for irregular migrants who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

The country, which already hosts 4 million refugees, more than any other country in the world, is taking new measures at its borders to prevent a fresh influx of migrants.

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