Turkish army soldiers stand guard as Kurdish people wait in a hope to enter Cizre, a town subject to a curfew as part of a controversial operation against Kurdish rebels, on March 22, 2016 in Mardin, for Newroz celebration. Nowruz, the Farsi-language word for 'New Year', is an ancient Persian festival, celebrated on the first day of spring, March 21, in Central Asian republics, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iran. / AFP PHOTO / ILYAS AKENGIN

BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:45 P.M.) – Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced on Monday, the neutralization of 1,458 ‘terrorists in northern Iraq and Syria since the start of the new year.

He added that neutralizing these terrorists came within the framework of counter-terrorism operations in northern Syria and Iraq, where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is active.

In another context, the Turkish Defense Minister stressed their efforts to secure a permanent ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib region, within the framework of the agreement concluded between Ankara and Moscow last March, according to the Anatolia Agency.

He added: “We are doing our best to reach a political solution in Idlib. There are some minor violations, but the general scene shows a commitment to the ceasefire.”

Akar pointed out that, following the conclusion of the agreement between Ankara and Moscow, approximately 300,000 Syrians returned home in Idlib.

 

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