ANKARA / VAN, Turkey

Turkish security forces neutralized at least four YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Syria, near the Turkish border, who were preparing for an attack, the National Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

“There is no passage to terrorism and terrorists! Our hero commandos neutralized 4 PKK/YPG terrorists who attempted to attack the [Operation] Peace Spring region,” the ministry said on Twitter.

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

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

Separately, a PKK terror suspect who robbed a bank’s armored cash transport vehicle in the Beytussebap district of southeastern Sirnak province in 2014, was caught by security forces in eastern Van province, police said. He came to the province for a terror attack, the statement added.

The suspect, identified only by the initials S.T., was nabbed in the operation supported by special forces units.

A long-barreled rifle, pistol and two hand grenades were seized during the search operation.

The suspect was later remanded into police custody by a judge.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and 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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