The Ministry of National Defense announced on Monday that six members of the PKK terrorist organization’s Syrian wing, the YPG, were “neutralized” in Syria’s north. The ministry said terrorists were preparing an attack targeting Türkiye. “Neutralized” refers to terrorists captured dead or alive in operations.
The counterterrorism operation took place in the area cleared by Operation Euphrates Shield. Türkiye launched the operation in 2016 to eliminate the Daesh terrorist group, which threatened Turkish borders and beyond. Syria’s Jarablus and al-Bab were among the towns liberated from the terrorist group with the joint operation of the Turkish army and Syrian opposition.
The YPG has been backed by Washington and is its main partner in Syria to drive Daesh out of the country’s north and east over the last four years. Despite Ankara’s documentation of the fact that the YPG and PKK are, in actuality, the same terrorist group, consistent U.S. support for the terrorists remains a source of significant strain between the allies.
Taking advantage of the power vacuum created by the Syrian civil war since 2011, YPG/PKK terrorists have invaded several Syrian provinces, including Deir el-Zour, with the help of Washington. They forced many locals to migrate, bringing in their militants to change the regional demographic.
Since 2016, Türkiye has carried out successive ground operations – Euphrates Shield in 2016, Olive Branch in 2018 and Peace Spring in 2019 – to expel the PKK/YPG and Daesh forces from border areas of northern Syria, as well as Iraq, and to enable the peaceful settlement of residents.