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    A Turkish soldier on armoured military vehicle patrols the border between Turkey and Syria, near the southeastern village of Besarslan, in Hatay province, Turkey, November 1, 2016

    Turkish Security Forces Neutralize at Least 3 PKK Militants in Country's South - Reports

    © REUTERS / Umit Bektas
    Middle East
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkish security forces have killed, captured or forced to surrender at least three militants linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) during an operation carried out in the nation's southern province of Hatay, local media reported, citing the country's Interior Ministry.

    The operation was carried out in the mountains by gendarmerie with air support, the Anadolu Agency reported late on Saturday.

    According to the outlet, militant weapon depots and shelters have been destroyed as a result of airstrikes.

    The PKK is officially listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey. Ankara has been fighting the group, which demands the establishment of a Kurdish autonomy in Turkey, since the early 1980s.

    Earlier, the Turkish Foreign Ministry accused US-based The Washington Post of disseminating terrorist propaganda after it published an article by Cemil Bayik, one of the leaders of the PKK.

    The ministry insisted the paper's 3 July publication violated the principle of "the prevention of incitement to terror". It added that the situation "constitutes a new and fatal example of hypocrisy in the fight against terrorism".

    Apart from Turkey, the PKK is designated as a terrorist group by the United States, the United Kingdom, and NATO member states. The United Nations, however, has not followed suit.

    Turkey repeatedly launches large scale offensives against the Kurds in the south-east of the country, as well as in northern parts of Iraq and Syria. A major crackdown on Kurdish militias began in Turkey in 2015, reportedly resulting in massive casualties, which included civilians.

    In 2018, Turkey led Operation Olive Branch in the predominantly-Kurdish district of Afrin in northern Syria. In March this year, Ankara announced the operation against the PKK in northern Iraq.

    In 2013, the sides agreed to a two-year ceasefire that collapsed due to attacks Ankara claims were committed by PKK militants.


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