Turkiye says military ‘neutralized’ 53 Kurdish militants in northern Syria

ANKARA (Reuter): Turkiye’s military “neutralized” 53 Kurdish militants in northern Syria, using ground artillery and drones in retaliatory strikes following an attack on a police post on the Turkish side of the border at the weekend, the defense ministry said on Wednesday.

The ministry typically uses the term “neutralized” to describe killed and wounded. The latest strikes targeted the militants’ hideouts in the Manbij and Tal Rifaat regions.

Turkiye has previously launched military incursions in Syria against the Kurdish YPG militia, regarding it as a wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Turkiye, the United States and the European Union designate as a terrorist group.

The United States has allied with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), spearheaded by the YPG, in the fight against Daesh in Syria, causing a deep rift with Turkiye.

The PKK launched an insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984, largely focused in Turkiye’s mainly Kurdish southeast. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.