Turkish security forces “neutralized” at least nine YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Iraq and northern Syria, Turkey’s National Defense Ministry announced on Friday.
Three terrorists were targeted in the Operation Pence-Kaplan region in northern Iraq, while two others were neutralized in the Operation Peace Spring zone and four more terrorists were hit in the Operation Olive Branch region, the ministry said on Twitter.
Turkish soldiers are breathing down the terrorists’ necks, the statement added.
Turkish authorities use the term “neutralize” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
The PKK terror group often hides out in northern Iraq, just across Turkey's southern border, to plot terror attacks in Turkey.
The Pence operations are a series of offensives Turkey has carried out since 2019 against terrorist organizations in northern Iraq, particularly the PKK.
Operations Pence-Kaplan and Pence-Kartal were initiated in June last year, while Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim were launched this April in Iraq's Metina and Avasin-Basyan regions.
Since 2016, Turkey 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 Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.