ANKARA, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Turkey on Thursday "neutralized" 10 members of Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria, the country's defense ministry said.
The YPG members were killed as they were preparing to attack Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, Operation Peace Spring and Operation Olive Branch military zones, the ministry tweeted.
Turkish authorities often use the term "neutralize" to imply that "terrorists" were killed, wounded, or captured in security operations.
The tension between YPG and the the Turkish military spiralled after the YPG attacked a police checkpoint in Mare settlement in the Operation Euphrates Shield zone with anti-tank weapons on April 22, killing one Turkish police officer.
Dozens of YPG members have been killed in the past week, according to figures released by Turkey's defense ministry.
Turkish forces and the YPG members often exchange fire on the Syrian border.
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.
Turkish authorities say the operations aim to eliminate terror threats against Turkey and provide a safe zone that will facilitate the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.
Ankara sees the YPG as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for more than three decades. ■