Turkish forces ‘neutralize’ Kurdish fighters in Syria after 2 troops killed

March 26 (UPI) — Turkey’s defense ministry said Thursday it has “neutralized” five Kurdish terrorists in Syria’s volatile northwestern region.

Ankara said those attacked were part of the People’s Protection Units and Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which Turkey considers terrorist organizations. Officials typically use the term “neutralized” when opponents have surrendered, been captured or killed.

“Five [Kurdish] terrorists who were found to be preparing an attack … were successfully neutralized in successful operations by our heroic commandos,” the defense ministry said in a Twitter post.

In a separate report Wednesday, the defense ministry said two Turkish soldiers died in a rocket attack by Kurdish forces in the Haftanin area in northern Iraq, near the Turkey border.

“Two of our soldiers were martyred and two others injured by a mortar attack by the separatist terrorist organization members,” the ministry said.

Kurdish forces, with the support of the United States, have led the fight against the Islamic State in northern Syria but faces continued attacks by rival Turkey since the U.S. military drawback.

The People’s Protection Units once controlled land east of the Euphrates River.