Turkish operations neutralize 2,398 terrorists in 2018

Hundreds of terrorist targets including ammunition depots and shelters also destroyed, says Turkish defense minister

Turkish operations neutralize 2,398 terrorists in 2018

Almost 2,400 terrorists neutralized in 147 major counterterrorism operations in 2018, Turkish defense minister said on Tuesday.

Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

Hulusi Akar’s remarks came when he visited military brigades stationed on the border with Syria.

Turkish Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler, Land Forces Commander Umit Dundar, Air Forces Commander Hasan Kucukakyuz and Naval Forces Commander Adnan Ozbal also accompanied Akar.

The minister said the Turkish airstrikes also destroyed 922 targets which include ammunition depots and shelters used by the terrorists.

Following his visit to border military brigades, Akar held a telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"You made history in [Syria’s] Jarablus and Afrin cities and I know this process will continue like this after that,” Erdogan said during the phone call.

In the last two years, Turkey has successfully carried out two counter-terrorist operations in Syria -- Operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch -- to eradicate the presence of YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists near Turkey’s borders, and a third one is expected, east of the Euphrates River.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.