ANKARA

Eleven YPG/PKK terrorists were neutralized by Turkish security forces in the Operation Olive Branch zone, south of Turkey’s border, the Defense Ministry said Friday.

The terrorists, found by UAVs, were neutralized by commando teams in clashes continuing since Thursday, when six terrorists were previously neutralized, bringing the total to 17, said a ministry statement.

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

On Thursday, Specialist Sgt. Mehmet Altun was martyred in clashes to repel an attempt by YPG/PKK terrorists to infiltrate the Olive Branch zone.

Turkey liberated the zone from terrorists last year, but YPG/PKK terrorists occasionally try to infiltrate it to disrupt the stability and peace established there.

Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations in northern Syria, across its border, to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and to enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK –listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU– has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

* Writing by Ahmet Gencturk

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