Turkey Says It “Neutralized” Upwards of 1,200 YPG/PKK Members Since Operation “Peace Spring” Began

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Turkey Says It "Neutralized" Upwards of 1,200 YPG/PKK Members Since Operation "Peace Spring" Began

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On November 29th, Turkish state outlet Anadolu Agency published an overview of anti-terror efforts by the country over the last 10 months.

The report claimed that a total of 1,313 “terrorists” have been neutralized over the past 10 months in Turkey’s operations against the YPG/PKK (People’s Protection Units/Kurdistan Workers’ Party), FETO, as well as against ISIS and other groups.

Turkish security forces arrested nearly 44,000 people, including over 11,000 YPG/PKK suspects, 29,752 FETO suspects, 2,491 ISIS suspects, and 701 suspected members of leftist terror groups.

Over 8,000 people — including 2,143 PKK suspects, 4,907 FETO suspects, 821 Daesh/ISIS suspects, and 160 leftist terror groups suspects — were remanded in custody.

During operations, Turkish security forces also seized 1,388 weapons, 526 improvised explosive devices (IEDs), 808 hand grenades, 38.6 tons of explosives, and 257,000 packs of ammunition.

Allegedly 257 terror attacks were prevented, out of them 247 were by the YPG/PKK, 3 by ISIS and 7 by “leftist terror groups.”

The above-mentioned numbers don’t include numbers from Turkey’s operation “Peace Spring” in Northeastern Syria as of November 26th, as a result of which at least 1,230 YPG/PKK members have been neutralized since the operation began on October 9th.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that there was no schedule of the operation and it would end when it does.

“It is not possible to give any date in such military operations,” he said.

“We need to continue this fight decisively. Our priority now is to eliminate the harassment of the terrorist organization,” he said, adding that Turkey’s presence in northern Syria was “partially disturbing” the US and the Syrian government.

On December 4th, Anadolu Agency reported that at least 251 soldiers of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) have died in the fighting in Northeastern Syria. Another 760 have been wounded and 1 soldier had gone missing. These numbers encompass the entire duration from October 9th onwards.

Finally, Turkey’s National Defense Ministry claimed that a total of 45 civilians had been killed and 244 others were injured as a result of attacks by YPG/PKK since October 9th, both in and outside Turkey.

“Since Oct. 9, the YPG/PKK terrorists’ car bombing attacks directly targeting civilians in Operation Peace Spring area, killed 23 civilians, and injured 55 others,” the ministry said.

It added: “Twenty-two innocent citizens were also killed in domestic mortar/rocket attacks, while 189 others were injured.”

During the NATO Summit in London on December 3rd– 4th, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged the threat presented by the YPG/PKK and that the “terrorist threat” was recognized.

Speaking at a press conference, Johnson said he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a “good” meeting on the sidelines of the summit.

“We discussed the great complexity of the situation in northern Syria,” Johnson said.

Johnson said they “clearly recognized the huge pressure Turkey faces” from 4 million refugees it is accommodating and “the terrorist threat from the PKK.”

“That must be acknowledged a real threat that Turkey faces,” the premier urged. Johnson said Turkey’s plans in northern Syria must be understood and “we must avoid any misunderstandings between allies within NATO.”

“We have agreed to continue to those talks,” he added.

On December 4th, US President Donald Trump praised Turkey’s commitment to the deal with the US on northeastern Syria and that Ankara’s efforts in terms of security and regarding the refugees were positive.

Trump said he had met with Erdogan on the sidelines of the summit.

“It was a very good meeting,” he said, adding that they discussed many issues, including the latest developments in Syria.

“We’re getting along very well. The border and the safe zone is working out very well… and I give a lot of credit to Turkey for that. The cease-fire is holding very much,” Trump stressed.

He defended his decision in October to pull out U.S. troops from northern Syria, saying Turkey’s efforts in the region earned “great respect” from many people.

“They’ve been doing a job. And they’ve been doing a good job also on the border and in the safe zone,” he stressed.

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