Turkish intelligence eliminates PKK’s ‘finance’ point man in Syria

Mehmet Yıldırım, a senior figure of the PKK terrorist group’s Syrian wing YPG, was killed in Syria in an operation run by the National Intelligence Organization (MIT). Yıldırım, known by his code name “Hamza Kobani,” was serving as the “finance official” of the terrorist group in Aleppo and Tal Rifaat, security sources said Sunday.

The sources told Turkish media outlets that Yıldırım was eliminated in the Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood of Aleppo on Feb. 24.

Yıldırım joined the terrorist group in 1986 and was engaged in its activities in Türkiye and Iraq before relocating to Syria in 2015.

An undated photo of Mehmet Yıldırım taken in an undisclosed location. (İHA Photo)
An undated photo of Mehmet Yıldırım taken in an undisclosed location. (İHA Photo)

The Turkish intelligence agency has stepped up its operations abroad in recent years to stamp out terrorist activities in Iraq and Syria, Türkiye’s two neighbors. In 2022 alone, 23 senior figures of the terrorist group backed by the United States in Syria were eliminated in MIT’s operations in the two countries, while a large number of PKK members were transported to Türkiye. Since 2018, more than 100 terrorists have been eliminated by Turkish intelligence forces. In February, a PKK member behind a terrorist attack on Istanbul’s Istiklal Street last year was killed in a MIT operation in Syria.

For more than 40 years, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful counterterrorism operations – Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018) and Peace Spring (2019) – across its border in northern Syria and northern Iraq to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents.

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