Turkey has started a new anti-terror operation in the country’s eastern province, the Interior Ministry announced on Saturday.
Operation Yildirim-15 Mutki-Sarpkaya in Bitlis provinces is aimed at thwarting potential attacks this winter, completely eliminating separatist terror groups, and neutralizing all terrorists hiding out in the region, the ministry said in a statement.
As many as 816 security personnel are taking part in the operation, including Gendarmerie Special Operations forces, police, and security personnel, it added.
Although the statement did not mention any specific group, the PKK terror group has been active in eastern Turkey and the government has launched a series of operations this year to neutralize PKK terrorists in the region.
Detailing the achievements of Operation Yildirim since July 13, 2020, the statement said 143 terrorists were neutralized, 74 collaborators of the PKK terrorist organization were arrested, and more than 251 caves, shelters, and a large quantity of arms 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.
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