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Turkish intelligence “neutralizes” senior YPG member in Syria

The Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) has “neutralized” a senior member of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in a cross-border operation in northern Syria, the semi-official Anadolu Agency reported Saturday.

The man, identified as Remziye Altig and codenamed Viyan, was responsible for YPG’s financial affairs.

He was also suspected of participating in “terror activities” in northern Syria’s Qamishli city, the news agency reported, citing anonymous security forces.

Altig led protests organized by the youth section of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Türkiye’s southern Mersin province before 2016 and took part in the group’s “action planning,” said the sources.

Turkish authorities often use the term “neutralize” in their statements to imply the alleged “terrorists” have either surrendered, been killed, or been captured.

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 in northern Syria to create a YPG-free zone along the border with the neighboring country. The Turkish intelligence has also intensified cross-border operations targeting PKK and YPG hideouts in Iraq and Syria.

Türkiye sees the YPG as the Syrian branch of the PKK group.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States, and the European Union, has rebelled against the Turkish government for more than three decades. ■

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Famagusta Gazette