Turkish military 'neutralizes' 11 PKK members in Syria's north

The Defense Ministry has announced on consecutive days that a total of 11 PKK members were neutralized in preemptive strikes targeting potential attacks within Türkiye's operational zones in northern Syria.

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.

The first statement released on Jan. 7 reported the neutralization of five PKK members who were allegedly preparing an attack within the zones of Euphrates Shield and Peace Spring operations.

Turkish military 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 following day, on Jan. 8, the ministry announced the neutralization of six additional PKK members who were reportedly planning an attack in the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations' area.

"Our heroic Turkish Armed Forces continue their operations against PKK/YPG terrorists in northern Syria," read the ministry's social media post.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the U.S. and the EU.

The recent airstrikes followed attacks in northern Iraq that resulted in the loss of 12 Turkish soldiers at the hands of the PKK. The assailants, armed with long-barreled weapons, rocket launchers and grenades, targeted Turkish military bases in the Zap, Metina and Hakurk regions on Dec. 22 and 23, 2023.

In response to the attacks, Türkiye launched airstrikes not only in Iraq but also in Syria, accompanied by simultaneous raids within its own borders to...

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