Turkish fighter jets launched an air operation against PKK targets in northern Iraq late Tuesday with four F-16s and two F-4s, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) said in a written statement on Wednesday.
Six fighter jets, accompanied by drones, destroyed compounds, depots and shelters belonging to the PKK terrorist organization in the northern part of Iraq. The PKK's Avashin, Basyan, Gare and Zap camps have been targeted in the operation.
The air operation comes at a time when security forces are continuing an extensive operation in five districts in the southeast.
Turkish security forces have killed nearly 600 PKK terrorists since counterterror operations were launched across the southeast last month, the military said Wednesday.
The Turkish General Staff and the office of Diyarbakır province's governor said 578 PKK terrorists have been killed since Dec. 15 in five districts in the provinces of Diyarbakır, Şırnak and Mardin.
Operations have been completed in Nusaybin and Dargeçit in the Mardin province and are still ongoing in Diyarbakir's Sur district as well as Cizre and Silopi in Şırnak province.
Sur, a historic area of the region's largest province of Diyarbakır, has been under military curfew since Dec. 2, effectively sealing off the district. The security forces' operations have resulted in the deaths of 94 terrorists while more than 50 barricades and ditches have been removed. The terrorist organization erects such barriers to impede the security forces.
In Silopi and Cizre, 407 PKK terrorists were killed, according to the military, and more than 500 barriers were removed. More than 900 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were destroyed as well.
In Nusaybin and Dargeçit, 100 terrorists were killed and around 100 ditches and barricades were removed. Security forces also destroyed 43 IEDs.
Reports of intense clashes between security forces and the PKK continue to come out of the region, with videos released from the districts showing terrorists trapped in buildings and houses where they are hunted down by security forces.
Meanwhile, PKK terrorists have been eradicated from the Silopi district of Şırnak province, according to a statement given by a wounded special operations officer receiving treatment in the province of Samsun on Monday.
Mustafa Kemal Hançer was wounded in a PKK bomb attack in Silopi before being transferred to Samsun for treatment, where he said that the district is now free of terrorists. Asserting that security forces are exhausting every effort to re-establish public order in the region, Hançer said that meticulous operations are being carried out there.
The PKK – considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU – resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in late July.
Since then, more than 200 members of the security forces have been martyred and thousands of PKK terrorists have been killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq.