Seven more terrorists, including a senior one, have been neutralized in Turkey’s recent cross-border anti-terror operations, the national defence minister said on Sunday evening.
“The number of neutralized terrorists reached 53,” Hulusi Akar told troops in the central Eskisehir province.
Akar, along with high-level military officials, visited the province to monitor developments in the recently launched operations Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim.
He said bodies of the terrorists were found in a cave, which needed special techniques to enter, after special forces and commandos dealt with it. “Our friends skillfully accomplished this job without any loss."
The defense chief said Turkey lost seven soldiers in the operations, and wished Allah’s mercy on them.
Turkish forces also seized arms and advanced ammunition during the operations, he added.
“Nearly 200 improvised explosives and mines have been cleared so far,” he said.
Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in statements to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
Turkey launched Operations Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim on April 23 in northern Iraq’s Metina and Avasin-Basyan regions near its borders.
The PKK terror group often uses bases in northern Iraq just across Turkey's southern border to hide and plot terror attacks in Turkey.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.