Türkiye's National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar
Türkiye has “neutralized” more than 37,800 terrorists since 2015, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Sunday.
“Since July 24, 2015, 37,860 terrorists have been neutralized,” Akar said at a conference held in Istanbul about the Syria conflict and the fight against terrorism.
Six more terrorists have been “neutralized” in the Operation Euphrates Shield region in northern Syria, he added.
Turkish authorities use the term “neutralized” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
While Akar did not specify any terror groups, Türkiye has been conducting operations against terrorist organizations such as Daesh/ISIS and the PKK.
Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is its Syrian offshoot.
In 2013, Türkiye became one of the first countries to declare Daesh/ISIS a terrorist organization.
The country has since been attacked by the terror group multiple times, with over 300 people killed and hundreds more injured in at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks, and four armed assaults. In response, Türkiye launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad to prevent further attacks.