Turkey’s defense minister and top force commanders on Saturday carried out inspections along the border where southern Turkey meets northern Syria, according to security sources.

Hulusi Akar was joined in the inspection by Turkey’s chief of General Staff and senior commanders from the land, air, and sea forces, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The inspections come amid Turkey’s continuing operations to rid the region of terrorists and make the area safe for civilians.

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

Akar also reportedly stressed that Turkey’s defense forces are complying with measures to stem the spread of coronavirus in all its camps in the region.

Akar also said that 13 terrorists planning attacks were “neutralized” by Turkish air and land forces in the Haftanin, Zap, Hakurk, and Gara regions of northern Iraq.

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

The terrorists’ affiliation was not given, but YPG/PKK terrorists often hide out in northern Iraq to plan attacks against Turkey across the border.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union – 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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