MARDIN, Turkey

Turkey launched an operation early Monday against the PKK terrorist organization in southeastern Mardin province.

The city governorate announced that the anti-terror operation will take place in a total of 18 neighborhoods in the towns of Mazidagi, Derik and Kiziltepe.

The operation aims to ensure the safety of residents’ lives and property, “neutralize” terrorist PKK members including the organization’s ringleaders and destroy shelters and storage facilities used by the terror group as well as arrest wanted people in the region.

Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in statements to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

A curfew has been imposed on the 18 neighborhoods as of 6 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) and residents are advised to comply with the lockdown for safety reasons until further notice.

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 Dilan Pamuk in Ankara