ANKARA: Trkiye “neutralized” 44 terrorists over the past week, including those hiding out across the border in the northern areas of Iraq and Syria, the National Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
A total of 359 terrorists have been targeted since January with 144 in northern Iraq and 215 in northern Syria, spokesman Zeki Akturk told reporters at a briefing in the capital Ankara.
Turkish authorities use the term “neutralize” to imply that the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Trkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Trkiye, 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 branch.
PKK/YPG terrorists often hide out across Trkiye’s border in northern Iraq and Syria, where they plot attacks on Turkish forces or the local populations.
Additionally, 207 people were apprehended while attempting to illegally cross borders in the past
week, with 2,495 others prevented from crossing.
Since 2024, the number of apprehended individuals attempting to illegally cross borders has reached 893, with 21,089 prevented from doing so, he said.
Trkiye has been a key transit point for irregular migrants who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
The country, which already hosts 4 million refugees, more than any other country in the world, is taking new measures at its borders to prevent a fresh influx of migrants.
Akturk highlighted the successful missions of the Turkish Armed Forces in various regions including the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Libya, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Qatar, Somalia, and many others, expressing continued support for “the just causes of brotherly, friendly, and allied countries.”
He also mentioned that Trkiye’s National Defense Minister Yasar Guler conducted an official visit to Iraq with Chief of General Staff Gen. Metin Gurak, during which discu
ssions were held on bilateral and regional defense and security issues, including counter-terrorism efforts and border security.
Akturk reiterated the call for an urgent and permanent ceasefire in the Israel-Palestine conflict, emphasizing the importance of ensuring the security and peace of everyone in the region and preventing the escalation of conflicts.
Source: Anadolu Agency