Turkey launched the third phase of a domestic anti-terror operation, the Interior Ministry announced on Monday.

The Interior Ministry statement said Operation Yildirim-3 Mt. Agri is underway in the eastern Agri and Igdir provinces as well as northeastern Kars province.

The operation was launched to “completely eliminate the separatist terror group from the country’s agenda and to neutralize terrorists taking shelter in the region”.

A total of 1,170 security personnel, including gendarmerie commandos and police special forces as well as village guards, are taking part in the operation, added the statement.

Operations against terrorists in the region will continue without pause, the statement noted.

Previously, the ministry said Operation Yildirim-2 Cilo was launched on July 19 to neutralize PKK terrorists in the region.

Operation Yildirim-3 Cilo also included a total of 1,106 security personnel including gendarmerie commandos, gendarmerie special forces, police special forces, and local security teams.

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

*Writing by Merve Aydogan

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