Turkey ‘neutralize’ 13 suspected PKK terrorists in northern Syria

The Turkish government announced Monday the “neutralization” of a total of 13 alleged Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) “terrorists” in northern Syria.

The Turkish Defense Ministry said Monday morning that five PKK/YGL members have been “neutralized” in northern Syria, without giving further details about the operation carried out jointly with the National Intelligence Organization.

Hours later, the ministerial portfolio has added another eight suspected terrorists to the figure of “neutralized” by the country’s Army.

Turkey uses the term “neutralized” to refer to suspects who have been killed, captured or surrendered to the authorities. As these are bombings, it is understood that Ankara considers them dead.

The Turkish military has intensified its operations against the PKK in both Syria and northern Iraq since the ceasefire between the government and the armed group was broken in July 2015.

The breakdown of the ceasefire came shortly after the government and guerrillas signed the so-called Dolmabahce accords to advance peace talks and following the historic entry of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) into the Turkish parliament.

Turkey considers the YPG, Kurdish-Syrian militia People’s Protection Units (YPG)- as the Syrian affiliate of the PKK armed group, with a presence in Turkey. The YPG are in turn the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), key in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria.

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