Turkish security forces have killed four members of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as they “attempted to infiltrate” into its cross-border operation zone in northern Syria, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
“Four PKK/YPG terrorists, who attempted to infiltrate the Operation Euphrates Shield region to disturb the peace and security environment, were neutralized by the successful intervention of our hero commandos,” the ministry said on Twitter.
Turkish authorities often use the term “neutralized” in their statements to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
Turkey sees the YPG group as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Meanwhile, a Syrian national suspect was detained in a police operation in southern Mardin province against the PKK group, after an intelligence suggested the suspect was planning attacks in major Turkish cities and was providing weapons and ammunition to “terrorists,” local police said in a statement on Tuesday.
A mortar launcher, binoculars and four pieces of 60-millimeter mortar ammunition were seized during a search of his home.
The Turkish army launched Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016, Operation Olive Branch in 2018, Operation Peace Spring in 2019, and Operation Spring Shield in 2020 in northern Syria in order to create a YPG-free zone along its border within the neighboring country.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the EU, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for over 30 years, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.