Turkish military announces huge figures in anti-terrorism fight
ANKARAMore than 1,800 outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants were “neutralized” by security forces over the last nine months, the Turkish General Staff has said in a statement.
A total of 562 land and air operations backed by drones and manned scout aircrafts, were carried out at home and abroad from Jan. 1 to Sept. 10, according to the statement released late Sept. 12.
A total of 127 members of the security forces, including soldiers, police officers and village guards, were killed by the PKK in the same period, while the militants also killed 32 civilians, it said.
During the same period, 62 civilians, including 22 public servants, were injured in PKK attacks.
The Turkish forces also destroyed 887 shelters used by PKK militants.
More than 1,000 mines, 1,943 weapons, and over 630,000 ammunitions were seized in the operations against the PKK.
Authorities use the word “neutralized” to refer to militants who have either been killed, wounded or captured.
In a seperate statement, the military denied its armed drones used in operations against PKK militants in the country’s southeast killed civilians on Aug. 31.
The General Staff said it has never engaged in an action that would harm “any civilians and innocent citizens” up to this date.
The issue had been hotly debated last week when main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu voiced his concerns over claims that an armed drone in the southeastern province of Hakkari’s rural area of Oğulköy shot four civilians, leaving one dead on Aug. 31.
Meanwhile, a village guard and three security personnel were killed in a PKK attack in the southeastern province of Hakkari on Sept. 12.
PKK militants detonated a hand-made explosive planted under a road in Hakkari’s Şemdinli district, killing one village guard and injuring three security personnel. The injured were taken to Şemdinli State Hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, another anti-terrorism operation was conducted in the eastern province of Ağrı on Sept. 13.
Five PKK militants were “neutralized” in the operation conducted in the Tendürek mountainous area.
In addition, one PKK militant was killed in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır province, the local governor’s office said in a statement on Sept. 12.
According to the statement, a counter-terrorism operation launched on Sept. 8 in the Dicle and Kulp districts of the province ended successfully on Sept. 11.
It said gendarmerie forces seized a machine gun with 179 cartridges, two AK-47 rifles and 50 M-16 cartridges.
Elsewhere, 60,640 cannabis plants were seized in the Hazro district in an anti-narcotics operation, the statement added.