Türkiye ‘neutralized’ 75 terrorists in last 2 weeks

Türkiye ‘neutralized’ 75 terrorists in last 2 weeks

748 terrorists ‘neutralized,’ with 331 in northern Iraq, 417 in northern Syria since Jan. 1, says National Defense Ministry

By Gizem Nisa Cebi

ISTANBUL (AA) - Türkiye "neutralized" 75 terrorists in the past two weeks, including those hiding across the border in northern Iraq and Syria, the National Defense Ministry said Thursday.

A total of 748 terrorists have been "neutralized," with 331 in northern Iraq and 417 in northern Syria since Jan. 1, ministry spokesman Zeki Akturk told reporters in Ankara.

One PKK terrorist who escaped from shelters in northern Iraq surrendered at the Habur border post, Akturk added.

Turkish authorities use the term "neutralize" to imply the terrorists in question surrendered, were killed or captured.

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

PKK terrorists often hide in northern Iraq to plot cross-border attacks in Türkiye. It also has a Syrian branch, the YPG.

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).


- Illegal crossings into Türkiye

Regarding illegal border crossings into Türkiye, Akturk said 373 people, including 11 members of terror organizations, were apprehended while attempting to cross in the last two weeks.

Another, 4,784 people were prevented from crossing.

"The number of people caught while attempting to cross our borders illegally since Jan. 1 has risen to 2,485. The number of people who have been prevented from crossing the border without success has reached 46,305," he said.

Approximately 45 kilograms (99 pounds) of narcotics and seven handguns were seized in operations conducted in the last two weeks, the spokesperson added.


- Regional and global peace

Akturk stressed that Turkish Armed Forces continued successful missions in various geographies within the framework of bilateral relations and international missions.

Türkiye’s TCG Bandirma and the German Navy’s FGS Baden Württember frigates conducted transit training, while two US Air Force B-1B aircraft and Turkish F-16s conducted aerial refueling and Joint Attack Controller training.

Additionally, the Olives Noires-2024 training program in France, Sea Shield-2024 in Romania and Desert Flag-9/2024 exercises in Abu Dhabi, UAE are ongoing, according to Akturk.

The National Anatolian Eagle Training, which began April 15, is currently in progress, he said.

A Confidence-Building Measures Meeting will be held in Athens on Monday with the participation of delegations from Greece and Türkiye, the spokesperson added.


- Israel-Palestine conflict

Akturk urged the international community to stop Israel's attacks against Palestinians and demanded immediate action to prevent "further catastrophe", emphasizing the urgent need for justice and a "humanitarian stance."

"The international community has only condemned this atrocity and ignored the risk of the spread of attacks throughout the region," he noted.


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