Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Friday said the country has neutralized over 1,300 YPG/PKK terrorists since Jan. 1.

Akar, speaking to broadcaster NTV, said 1,393 terrorists have been neutralized since Jan. 1.

He also said five major anti-terror operations are underway at a rising pace.

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

Since 2016, Turkey has launched four successful anti-terrorist operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable peaceful settlement by locals: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), Peace Spring (2019), and Spring Shield (2020).

In its more than 30-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 over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

Akar also said there are no COVID-19 cases among the soldiers in operation zones.

“Fortunately, we have not had any cases in our operation areas. It was the result of our friends’ devoted and conscious work,” Akar noted.

* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

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