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Turkish forces neutralize two 'wanted' PKK terrorists in northern Iraq, eastern Turkey

This undated picture shows slain PKK terrorist Ayfer Kordu, better known by the nom de guerre Bese Erzincan. (Photo via Twitter)

Turkish forces have killed two high-ranking members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group during separate counter-terrorism operations, supported by fighter jets, in Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region and the country’s eastern province of Tunceli.

Security sources, requesting not to be named, said on Monday that Ayfer Kordu, better known by the nom de guerre Bese Erzincan, was neutralized in a joint precision operation by Turkish jets and Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) in the mountainous Qandil region of northern Iraq on September 13.

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

Kordu was reportedly the top decision-maker in the KJK – the female branch of the PKK, and joined the terror group in the 1980s.

According to intelligence sources, she was trained by Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the PKK. She was in charge of managing, training and assigning female PKK militants.

The slain PKK militant was on the red category of Turkey’s terror blacklist.

Separately, Turkey’s Interior Ministry said in a statement on Monday that Beyan Dara, better known by the nom de guerre Melsa, was among the three PKK terrorists neutralized during security operations by the Provincial Gendarmerie Command in eastern Tunceli province.

She was listed in the orange category of the terror list, and had a bounty of 600,000 Turkish liras (roughly $108,000) on her head.

This file photo shows slain PKK terrorist Beyan Dara, better known by the nom de guerre Melsa (R), with PKK's acting leader Murat Karayilan (Photo by the Turkish-language Van Postasi newspaper)

Turkey’s terror list is divided into five color-coded categories, with red as the most wanted, followed by blue, green, orange and gray.

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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