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Turkish Intelligence Eliminates 11 Terrorists Backed by US in Syria

Precision strikes in Syria’s Manbij by Turkish intelligence “neutralized” 11 members of the PKK terrorist organization’s Syrian wing, the YPG, security sources said Monday.

The operations on Sunday targeted members of the terrorist group backed by the United States in Syria, in a location next to the area of the 2016-2017 Operation Euphrates Shield, where Türkiye launched a cross-border offensive to wipe out the presence of the terrorist group.

The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) identified the location where the operations were held as a point of convergence for terrorists seeking to cross into opposition-held areas in northern Syria to carry out attacks. It was also this area in Manbij where terrorists launched rocket and mortar attacks. Security sources said that after aerial surveillance and land reconnaissance, MIT teams launched simultaneous operations on Sunday night, neutralizing terrorists and demolishing a compound used by the YPG/PKK. The term “neutralizing” refers to terrorists killed or captured alive by Turkish forces.

In recent years, the Turkish intelligence agency has stepped up its operations abroad to stamp out terrorist activities in Iraq and Syria, Türkiye’s two southeastern neighbors. In 2022 alone, 23 senior figures of the terrorist group backed by the U.S. in Syria were eliminated in MIT’s operations in the two countries, while many PKK members were transported to Türkiye. Since 2018, Turkish intelligence forces have eliminated over 100 terrorists. In February, a PKK member behind a terrorist attack on Istanbul’s Istiklal Street last year was killed in an MIT operation in Syria.

Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful counterterrorism operations – Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019) – across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents.

The U.S. has strongly backed the PKK/YPG under the pretext of fighting the Daesh terrorist group. Thanks to U.S. help worth millions of dollars, the PKK/YPG has grown stronger in northeastern Syria and still controls much of the war-torn country’s east, making it impossible for Assad to establish territorial integrity. Since the civil war broke out, Türkiye has backed the opposition as the Bashar Assad regime frequently denounced Ankara’s support that paved the way for liberating Syria’s north from the PKK/YPG as well as Daesh.

Also on Monday, Turkish security forces “neutralized” four PKK terrorists in northern Iraq during a counterterrorism operation, the National Defense Ministry said. The terrorists were targeted in the Operation Claw-Lock zone, the ministry said in a statement. The ministry added that they are resolute in eliminating terrorism at its source. “Türkiye will resolutely continue to fight against terrorism,” it added.

PKK terrorists have hideouts in northern Iraq, across the Turkish border, which they use to plot attacks on Türkiye. Türkiye launched Operation Claw-Lock last year in April to target the PKK’s hideouts in the Metina, Zap and Avasin-Basyan regions of northern Iraq, located near the Turkish border. It was preceded by two operations – Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle – launched in 2020 to root out terrorists hiding out in northern Iraq and plotting cross-border attacks in Türkiye.

Source : Dailysabah