(Xinhua) — ANKARA, March 16 (Xinhua) — Turkish security forces killed eight members of Syria’s Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria on Wednesday, according to Turkey’s defence Ministry.
The YPG members were “neutralised” as they prepared for a “attack” on Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield zone in northern Syria, according to a Turkish ministry tweet.
Turkish authorities frequently use the phrase “neutralised” to refer to “terrorists” killed, injured, or apprehended during security operations.
Turkey’s military and YPG militants frequently exchange fire on the Syrian border, and tensions in the region have risen since early January, when three Turkish soldiers were killed when a bomb burst on the country’s border with Syria.
In northern Syria, the Turkish army launched Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016, Operation Olive Branch in 2018, Operation Peace Spring in 2019, and Operation Spring Shield in 2020.
The operations, according to Turkish authorities, seek to eliminate terror threats to Turkey and to create a secure zone to ease the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.
Ankara regards the YPG as the Syrian affiliate of the defunct Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).