Türkiye says over 2,000 terrorists ‘neutralized’ so far in 2023

Turkish security forces “neutralized” more than 2,000 terrorists since the beginning of 2023, the nation’s defense minister said on Wednesday, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

In his address to the Turkish parliament, Yasar Guler evaluated the success of Ankara’s fight against terrorism, including cross-border anti-terror operations both in northern Syria and Iraq.

Guler said that Türkiye has been experiencing its “most successful year” in its counter-terrorism fight.

At least 2,067 terrorists have been neutralized so far this year, he said.

“All our operations in Syria and Iraq are carried out in accordance with our right to self-defense arising from Article 51 of the UN, respecting the sovereign rights and territorial integrity of our neighbors,” Yasar emphasized.

“During the planning of the operations, all kinds of measures are taken to prevent damage to innocent civilians, friendly elements, historical and cultural assets, and the environment,” he added.

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

YPG/PKK terrorists often hide out across Türkiye’s border in northern Syria and Iraq, where they plot attacks on Turkish forces or the local populations.

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).

Türkiye launched Operation Claw-Lock in April 2022 to target the PKK terror group’s hideouts in Iraq’s northern Metina, Zap, and Avasin-Basyan regions near the Turkish border.

It was preceded by Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle, launched in 2020 to root out terrorists hiding out in northern Iraq and plotting cross-border attacks in Türkiye.

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 over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is its Syrian branch.

News.Az 

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