Istanbul: Turkey has neutralised at least 4,376 terrorists belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PYD/PKK) and Islamic State (IS) group, under the Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s Afrin region.
The word “neutralised” is used to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
“Number of terrorists that were neutralized in Afrin was 4,376. In northern Iraq 379, while 297 in [Turkey’s] Cudi, Gabar and Tendurek,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, reported the Anadolu Agency.
The operation ‘Olive Branch’ was launched on January 20 to clear PYD/PKK and IS terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.
Afrin was liberated from Kurdish forces on March 18, under Operation Olive Branch carried out by Turkish forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels.
The PKK, which is based in Turkey, Iraq and parts of Syria, has been involved in an armed conflict with Turkey for the past few years. Its aim is to achieve the objective of creating an independent Kurdish state.
It has been listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
The PKK is responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians.