Turkey's successful anti-terror ops eradicate PKK recruitment, Interior Minister says

Turkey's successful anti-terror ops eradicate PKK recruitment, Interior Minister says
  • Clock-gray 19:17
  • calendar-gray 20 November 2019

Effective anti-terror operations carried out by the Turkish military targeting Daesh, PKK and its offshoots have been achieving huge success, which is evident in a number of factors, including the significant fall in recruitment figures, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said, APA reports citing Daily Sabah.

The interior minister said the terrorist group's recruitment figures have significantly dropped over the past five years.

While the terrorist group was able to recruit 5,558 militants in 2014, this number sharply fell to 108 in 2019, Soylu said, adding that a total of 289 terrorists have surrendered or laid down their arms in the first 10 months of 2019.

The Turkish military destroyed 229 hideouts and shelters used by the PKK terrorists to carry out attacks and killed 363 militants in the past year.

Soylu noted that a total of 1,144 PKK terrorists have been killed in total, including 121 in Operation Kiran, with the support of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Turkey has also facilitated the return of 368,217 Syrian refugees to their homes by clearing terrorists from the border areas in cross-border operations targeting Daesh and terrorist PKK's Syrian offshoot the People's Protection Units (YPG), Soylu added.

Turkish security forces regularly conduct counterterrorism operations in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey where the PKK has attempted to establish a strong presence and bases. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also carry out cross-border operations in northern Iraq, a region where PKK terrorists have hideouts and bases from which to carry out attacks on Turkey. The operations were intensified after July 2018 and became routine since the beginning of another extensive campaign, Operation Claw, which was launched on May 27 to entirely eliminate the presence of the terrorist organization in northern Iraq. On July 13, TSK launched Operation Claw-2 as a follow up to the successful Claw-1.

Like the first, the second operation was also launched in northern Iraq's Hakurk region and aimed to continue to destroy weapon placements and shelters used by PKK terrorists.

Operation Claw-3, which is the follow up of the previous two, was initiated on August 23 in the Sinat-Haftanin region in northern Iraq. The operation was launched to facilitate border security, eliminate the presence of terrorists, and destroy terrorist caves and shelters in the region.

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