Muslim Times(Web Desk) – Turkish ground forces have killed more than two dozen members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group when they carried out a string of counter-terrorism operations in the country’s southeastern provinces near the border with Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in the past week.
The Interior Ministry, in a statement released on Monday, said 2,156 operations were conducted between August 20 and 27, during which a total of 12 PKK terrorists were killed. Nine Kurdish militants were captured alive, while five others surrendered to authorities as well.
The statement further noted that five high-ranking commanders were among the “neutralized” PKK militants.
The Turkish military generally uses the term “neutralize” to signify that the militants were killed, captured or surrendered.
Moreover, 62 people were also arrested for allegedly aiding and abetting the PKK terrorist group.
On Sunday, the Turkish General Staff stated that high-profile PKK militant Fecri Demir, better known by the nom de guerre Tolhildan, had been killed on August 24 during an offensive backed by military aircraft in the rural Dogubayazit area of Turkey’s eastern province of Agri.
PKK militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.
Turkey, along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a terrorist group and banned it. The militant group has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.
A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.
Over the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria.
More than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.