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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Senior PKK terrorist killed in anti-terror operation in Turkey's Bitlis

Iran Press TV

Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:23PM

Turkish gendarmerie forces have killed a high-ranking member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group during a counter-terrorism operation in the country's eastern province of Bitlis.

Turkey's Interior Ministry, in a statement released on Thursday, announced that Sefer Acar, better known by the nom de guerre Welat Gever, was "neutralized" during an offensive in the Kocyigit village of the province on June 28.

The Turkish military generally uses the term "neutralize" to signify that the militants were killed, captured or surrendered.

The statement added that Acar was on the red category of the terror blacklist, and wanted for a terrorist attack on a Turkish military helicopter in Iraq's northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, which left 15 Turkish soldiers dead.

Turkish gendarmerie forces recovered a Turkish lira banknote dated 1998 from the slain militant, which read, "Money from the helicopter pilot downed in Herko 11-27-1998." The terrorist had kept the memento of his deadly attack for 20 years.

The Turkish Interior Ministry, in a statement released on Wednesday, said security and gendarmerie forces had "neutralized"11 PKK terrorists in the country's southeastern province of Osmaniye, and four others in Sirnak. Three Kurdish militants were also "neutralized" in Diyarbakir.

The statement added that clean-up operations were still underway in the mentioned areas.

Separately, the Turkish General Staff, in a message published on its official Twitter page, said fighter jets had conducted airstrikes against PKK positions in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

The statement said that Turkish warplanes had targeted Iraq's Qandil, Matina, Zap, Avasin-Basyan, Hakurk and Gara regions, destroying 28 shelters and depots that belonged to the Kurdish militants.

PKK militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.

Turkey, along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a terrorist group and banned it. The militant group has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.

A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.

Over the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria.

More than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.

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