Turkey has eliminated at least 113 PKK terrorists so far in counterterrorism Claw-Lightning and Claw-Thunderbolt operations in northern Iraq, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Monday.
Addressing Turkish military personnel via videoconference, Akar said that the operations continue successfully as planned despite difficult conditions.
He said that 107 shelters and caves were also destroyed in the region.
Akar also stated that a total of 1,070 terrorists were killed in 2021 during domestic and cross-border operations.
Northern Iraq is known as the location for many PKK terrorist hideouts and bases from where they carry out attacks in Turkey.
The PKK targets are being struck in the Metina, Avashin-Basyan, Zap and Qandil regions. In addition to F-16 fighter jets, the operations are being supported by border artillery units, fire support elements in the forward base areas and attack helicopters.
The Turkish military regularly conducts cross-border operations in northern Iraq. Turkey has long been stressing that it will not tolerate terrorist threats posed against its national security and has called on Iraqi officials to take the necessary steps to eliminate the terrorist group. Ankara previously noted that if the expected steps were not taken, it would not shy away from targeting terrorist threats.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women and children.