Two Turkish soldiers were killed in a rocket attack carried out by terrorists in southeastern Turkey, the National Defense Ministry said Monday.
The ministry said in a statement that the terrorists attacked a military base in Hakkari province.
It said two soldiers that were seriously wounded in the attack were taken to a hospital, and despite the doctors' best efforts, they succumbed to their injuries.
After the attack, security forces in the region launched an operation on terrorist targets with combat helicopters and armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The statement also offered condolences to the families of the soldiers and the Turkish nation.
Although the statement did not specify what terrorist group was behind the attack, the PKK is known for being active in the region.
Meanwhile, Turkish security forces' domestic and cross-border anti-terror operations against the PKK continue, aiming to eliminate the presence of the terrorist group within the country and near its borders.
On Monday, three PKK terrorists were killed near the Turkish border in northern Iraq during reconnaissance and surveillance activities, the National Defense Ministry announced.
In a statement, the ministry said the terrorists were targeted in an air operation in the Zap region.
"Turkey will resolutely continue to pursue its anti-terror operation against the PKK terror group," it said.
PKK terrorists often take shelter in northern Iraq to plan cross-border terrorist attacks in Turkey.
In a domestic operation Monday, Turkish security forces seized weapons and ammunition belonging to the PKK terror group in southeastern Turkey, an official statement said.
As part of Lightning-Cilo 2, two PKK shelters were found near the village of Kolbaşı in Hakkari's Yüksekova district, the governorship said.
The seized items included two AK-47 rifles and 39 magazines, two assault vests, RG-42-type grenade and two generators.
Operations against terrorists in the region will continue without pause, the statement said.
Operation Lightning-Cilo 2 was launched Sunday and involves 1,106 security personnel, including gendarmerie commandos, gendarmerie special forces, police special forces and local security teams.
Turkish security forces regularly conduct counterterrorism operations in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey, where the PKK has attempted to establish a strong presence.
In the past year, Turkey has also launched operations Kıran and Kapan, which successfully brought the number of PKK terrorists down to just 492 from around 3,000 in 2016.
In August 2019, Turkey launched Operation Kıran against the PKK terrorists in the country's southeastern provinces of Van, Hakkari and Şırnak.
This was followed by Operation Kıran-2, launched later in the same month in the southeastern provinces of Mardin, Şırnak and Batman. Eight more iterations followed, ending in Kıran-10.
Turkey also launched Operation Kapan in February to eliminate terrorists in Mardin province.
The security forces have adopted strategies like "ending terrorism at its root" and "attack rather than defense" in its operations across the country.
To that end, Turkey has engaged in efforts to convince terrorist organization members to surrender, working together with their families.
The Interior Ministry has recently said Turkey's successful counterterrorism operations and strategies at home and abroad have accelerated the PKK's dissolution.
A significant number of suspected terrorists have already deserted the PKK and surrendered. At least 100 terrorists have been persuaded to surrender by the Turkish authorities since the beginning of this year, and these efforts continue. However, many terrorists are still fearful of leaving the group because they face severe punishment if caught.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union, has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
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