10 PKK members 'neutralized' in Syria, Iraq

A total of 10 PKK members have been "neutralized" in recent operations in northern Syria and Iraq, the Defense Ministry announced on May 24.

According to the ministry's statement, five PKK members were "neutralized" within the Euphrates Shield Operation zone in Syria.

Turkish authorities use the term "neutralize" to indicate that the militants in question have surrendered, been killed or captured.

Euphrates Shield, launched by Ankara in 2016, is the first of three cross-border operations aimed at "preventing the formation of a terror corridor" in northern Syria. The subsequent operations were Olive Branch in 2018 and Peace Spring in 2019.

In northern Iraq, five PKK members were neutralized in the Claw-Lock Operation area and the Gara region. The Claw operations, initiated in April 2022, are a Turkish counterterrorism effort targeting PKK hideouts in Iraq's northern regions near the border.

"There is no passage for terrorism and terrorists anywhere!" the ministry declared in its statement.

The PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States and the European Union. PKK militants frequently use northern Iraq and Syria as bases to orchestrate cross-border attacks on Türkiye.

Since the new year's onset, over 1,000 PKK members have been neutralized in operations in northern Iraq and Syria, the Defense ministry's press and public relations advisor, Zeki Aktürk, told reporters the day before.

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