By Ayse Sensoy Boztepe
ANKARA (AA) – Turkish army “neutralized” 86 PKK terrorists, including six senior members, in northern Iraq and on Turkish soil over the past two weeks, the military said on Friday.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
In a statement, the Turkish General Staff said the army conducted counter-terrorism operations in Turkey’s eastern and southeastern provinces of Sirnak, Siirt, and Hakkari and in northern Iraq on Aug. 17-31.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including women and children.
Separately, the military said that since the launch of Turkey's Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s Afrin region, a total of 4,573 terrorists have been “neutralized.”
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin. On March 18, Turkish troops and the Free Syrian Army liberated the Afrin district center.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.