71 militants killed in one week in northern Syria: Turkish military
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
REUTERS photoAt least 98 militants have been killed in Turkey and northern Syria over a week, the Turkish military said March 10.
Some 71 out of 98 Democratic Union Party (PYD), outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants were killed in northern Syria as part of the Turkey-led Euphrates Shield operation, the military said.
The military added that efforts to clear mines and explosives were ongoing in the regions of al-Bab, Qabasin and Bzagah.
Since the operation began last August, the Turkish military has neutralized 3,060 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants and 462 PKK, PYD and YPG militants.
Turkish authorities use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the militants in question were either killed, captured or surrounded.
Turkish jets also destroyed 2,325 targets, with the military taking control over 243 residential areas and 2,015 square kilometers (778 square miles) of territory between the cities of Azaz and Jarabulus.
According to another statement by the military on March 10, Turkish jets destroyed three PKK targets in the Avasin-Basyan and Zap regions in northern Iraq late on March 9.
The Turkish General Staff said in a statement that 27 of the militants were killed in anti-PKK operations in the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır, Bingöl, Siirt, Mardin, Bitlis, Batman and Kars between March 2 and March 9.
During the operations, 24 shelters used by the PKK were destroyed and five vehicles were seized, while 80 improvised explosives and 25 infantry rifles were recovered.
A Turkish soldier was also killed during security efforts at the border, during which 3,547 people were captured while trying to cross illegally.
Security forces also seized 908 kilograms (2,002 pounds) of cannabis and 7,000 packets of smuggled cigarettes.