ISTANBUL: Turkish security forces killed 3100 Kurdish militants in 2015, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday, vowing no let-up in a relentless offensive to oust rebels from towns and mountains in the southeast.
“In 2015, 3100 terrorists were neutralised in operations at home and abroad,” he said referring to the military operations on PKK strongholds in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq.
“Our security forces are flushing out the terrorists from every inch of the mountains and the towns and will continue to do so,” he said.
It was not possible to independently verify the toll. Erdogan said another 200 members of the security forces had been killed, as well as an unspecified number of civilians.
The authorities sent tanks into the southeast and also carried out bombing raids on PKK storage facilities and hideouts in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq.
In the latest operations, curfews imposed on December 14 are still in place in the towns of Silopi and Cizre in Sirnak province which normally have populations of some 100,000.
A partial curfew is also in force in the Sur district of the Diyarbakir region which was put in place on December 2.
Ankara says the extreme measures are needed to root out the PKK from urban areas where they had erected barricades and dug trenches.