Turkey neutralised at least 2,434 terrorists belonging to PKK, IS

Islamic State (Representative image) Photograph:( Others )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 04, 2018, 02.28 AM (IST)

Turkey neutralised at least 2,434 terrorists belonging to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PYD/PKK) and Islamic State (IS) group in a military operation in Syria's Afrin region, the Turkish general staff said in a statement on Saturday.

The Turkish army took control of the outer edge of Syria's Afrin region, state media said, as Ankara said it was readying for a "new battle" by deploying police special forces. 

A total of 2,222 militants have been "neutralized" since the commencement of Turkey's "Operation Olive Branch" in Syria's Afrin region, the military said in a statement Thursday. 

The word "neutralised" is used to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

On January 20, Turkey began an air and ground offensive supporting Syrian rebels against the US-backed YPG in its western enclave of Afrin. The main aim of the Turkish forces is to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

"The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, United Nations Security Council resolutions, its self-defence rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity," the Turkish military added.

Also, 924 terror targets have been destroyed ever since the military operations began in January.

In January 2018, the Turkish military began an operation in the Kurdish-majority Afrin Canton and the Tel Rifaat Area of Shahba Canton in Northern Syria. 

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.