Sun, 10 Dec 2023

ANKARA, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Türkiye's security forces have "neutralized" 12 members of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria and a senior member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, Turkish authorities said Friday.

The YPG members were "neutralized" as they were preparing for an attack in the "Operation Euphrates Shield" and "Operation Olive Branch" zones of the Turkish army in northern Syria, the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Turkish authorities often use the term "neutralized" in their statements to imply the "terrorists" in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

Meanwhile, the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) of Türkiye "neutralized" a senior member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in a cross-border operation in northern Iraq.

Halid Reso Kasim, code-named Dindar Avesta, was "neutralized" in an operation in Iraq's Sinjar region, a crossing point into Syria, the semi-official Anadolu Agency reported Friday.

Kasim, the PKK's "security chief" in Sinjar, joined the group in 2014, and participated in the training and recruitment activities, Anadolu reported.

Türkiye sees the YPG group as the Syrian branch of the PKK.

Turkish security forces killed more than 1,200 members of YPG and PKK since the beginning of this year in cross-border operations in Iraq and northern Syria, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.

The Turkish army launched Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016, Operation Olive Branch in 2018, Operation Peace Spring in 2019, and Operation Spring Shield in 2020 in northern Syria in order to create a YPG-free zone along its border within the neighboring country.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States and the European Union, has rebelled against the Turkish government for more than three decades.

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