ANKARA 

A new phase of Yildirim anti-terror operation was launched in southeastern Turkey, said Interior Ministry on Wednesday.

The 14th stage of Operation Yildirim commenced in southeastern Batman and Diyarbakir provinces with the participation of 1,451 troops divided in 89 teams, according to the ministry’s statement.

Detailing the achievements of Operation Yildirim since July 13, 2020, the statement said 137 terrorists were neutralized, 74 collaborators of the PKK terrorist organization were arrested, and more than 200 caves, shelters, and arm caches were destroyed.

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

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. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

* Writing by Ahmet Gencturk

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