Turkish forces 'neutralize 56 terrorists' in response to PKK attacks

In the wake of deadly attacks by the PKK that claimed the lives of 12 Turkish soldiers, the Defense Ministry has reported an escalation in retaliation efforts, with the number of terrorists neutralized since rising to 56.

The ministry disclosed today that at least 26 terrorists were neutralized in air strikes specifically in the area of Operation Claw-Lock in northern Syria on Dec. 23 alone. The term "neutralize" is frequently used by the Turkish military and officials to denote that the terrorists in question have either surrendered, been killed or captured during operations.

This comes in addition to the 30 casualties previously announced by Defense Minister Yaşar Güler.

The Turkish army launched a trio of operations - Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018) and Peace Spring (2019) - across the country's border in northern Syria to "prevent the formation of a terror corridor" and "enable the peaceful settlement of residents."

The operations since the weekend followed a series of PKK attacks on Dec. 22, targeting Turkish forces stationed in northern Iraq. The first assault, which occurred between the Zap and Metina regions, resulted in the loss of six Turkish soldiers and injuries to another during a coordinated assault by a large group of PKK members.

The subsequent day witnessed another attack in Iraq's Hakurk region, where six soldiers lost their lives in the face of a PKK group wielding long-barreled weapons, rocket launchers and grenades.

In response, Turkish airstrikes hit many terror targets in both northern Iraq and Syria, seeking to eliminate caves, shelters, bunkers and warehouses harboring PKK members and affiliated elements.

Defense Minister Yaşar Güler, who initially directed air operations from...

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