Turkish forces have killed 58 Kurdish militants in northern Syria in overnight attacks on militant targets, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday, as conflict in the region escalated nearly a week after a bomb attack in Ankara.
The ministry said the operations, which it says are carried out under self-defense rights, had “neutralised” 58 militants in the region. Ankara typically uses the term “neutralised” to mean killed.
Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said that police in the eastern province of Van had captured six people suspected of PKK links and in preparation of an attack. Following the bomb attack, authorities have carried out raids and operations across the country, seizing dozens of people.
Turkey lists the YPG as a terrorist organisation and says it is indistinguishable from the PKK, which has fought an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.