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2,250 militants 'neutralised' in Syria operation

Image of smoke rising from the airstrikes that hit Syria [Anadolu]
Smoke rising from airstrikes that hit Syria [Anadolu Agency]

More than 2,250 militants have been killed, wounded or captured in northern Syria in a Turkish-backed operation launched late August, the Turkish military said in a statement today.

Operation Euphrates Shield has resulted in 1,940 Daesh fighters and 315 PKK/PYD terrorists being "neutralised", the Turkish General Staff said in a weekly briefing note on the 150-day campaign to eliminate the terror threat along Turkey's southern border.

The operation has been focused on the Daesh-held town of Al-Bab since early December. Free Syrian Army fighters supported by Turkish forces have reached the town's western and northern outskirts, the statement said.

On Thursday, they took control of the village of Suflaniyah.The military said 227 residential areas and 1,875 square kilometres of land had been secured along northern Syria's Azaz to Jarablus corridor that runs parallel to the Turkish frontier. The Turkish Air Force had hit 1,237 targets, the statement added.

More than 3,000 improvised explosive devices and 43 land mines were disarmed.Operations against the PKK in southeast Turkey over the last week had resulted in the disruption of key supply routes in Agri, Tunceli, Bitlis, Hakkari, Diyarbakir, Mardin and Sirnak provinces as well as the destruction of permanent shelters, the statement said.

Over that period, 78 PKK terrorists were killed and weapons and equipment, including mortars and bomb-making gear, were destroyed.

Two members of the security forces were martyred and another two wounded.More than 1,200 security forces personnel and civilians, including women and children, have lost their lives in PKK attacks since July 2015, when the Kurdish militant group fully resumed its decades-old armed campaign. Counter-terrorism operations have seen more than 10,000 PKK Kurdish extremists killed or apprehended.

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Europe & RussiaMiddle EastNewsSyriaTurkey
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