ANKARA

Turkish forces “neutralized” 12 YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Syria and Iraq, the National Defense Ministry said on Friday.

Ten terrorists were targeted during attempts to attack the Operation Peace Spring and Operation Olive Branch zones in northern Syria, the ministry said on Twitter.

Two more terrorists were neutralized in the Operation Pence-Simsek zone in northern Iraq, it added.

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

Since 2016, Ankara 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).

The Pence operations are a series of offensives Turkiye has carried out since 2019 against terrorist groups in northern Iraq, particularly the PKK.

Operations Pence-Kaplan and Pence-Kartal were initiated in June 2020 in Sinjar, Qandil, Haftanin, and Zap regions, while Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim were launched last April in the areas of Metina and Avasin-Basyan.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

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