New anti-terror operation launched in southern Turkey
A new anti-terrorism operation has been initiated in the south of Turkey, the country's interior minister announced on Aug. 12.
At least 1,448 security personnel will be part of Operation Yıldırım-5 in the southern province of Hatay's Amanos Mountains, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said at an inauguration ceremony.
"Our counter-terrorism operations continue. Our advice across the globe is to follow the Republic of Turkey on the issue of the fight against terrorism," said Soylu to reporters when asked about claims that Cemil Bayık, one of the PKK's senior leaders, was killed during a drone attack by Turkish security forces in northern Iraq on Aug. 11.
Over the past month, Turkey launched a series of security operations to neutralize terrorists believed to be sheltering in the country's eastern and southeastern regions.
Yıldırım -1 Cudi was started in the southeastern province of Şırnak on July 14, Yıldırım-2 Cilo in the southeastern province of Hakkari on July 20, Yıldırım -3 Mt. Ağrı in the eastern provinces of Ağrı, Iğdır, and Kars on July 27, and Yıldırım -4 in the eastern province of Tunceli on July 29.
As part of these operations launched in July under the coordination of the Interior Ministry, 15 terrorists got neutralized, 30 caves, shelters, and storages got destroyed, and many weapons, ammunition, and food seized, according to the statement by the Interior Ministry.
In more than 30 years of clashes between the PKK, recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU, and Turkey, nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants were killed. The YPG is the PKK's branch in Syria, just across Turkey's southern border.