The PKK terrorist group has attacked and desecrated a Turkmen martyrs' cemetery in northern Iraq's Kirkuk, a local official said.
"Elements of the PKK terrorist group attacked the cemetery at the center of Kirkuk," Muhammad Saman, a spokesman for the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF), told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Saturday.
The terrorist group reportedly removed a plaque from the cemetery and damaged some of the tombstones.
Saman added that the group had also hung its flags from bridges in several Turkmen districts.
After the incident, the youth branch of the ITF took the flags down and handed them over to the police. The security forces have launched an investigation, Saman added.
He said the PKK terrorists are trying to show their presence in Kirkuk after the Turkish Armed Forces' recently launched its anti-terror Operation Claw-Eagle in northern Iraq. Saman said they were concerned over Turkmen political party buildings becoming a target of the group.
Ankara last week launched Operation Claw-Eagle in northern Iraq, where Turkish fighter jets have hit and destroyed caves and shelters used by PKK terrorists. The mission was carried out on terrorist positions in Sinjar, Qandil, Karacak, Zap, Avasin-Basyan and Hakurk.
Operation Claw-Tiger was launched a few days after Operation Claw-Eagle, which looked to ensure the security of the Turkish people and the country's borders by eliminating the PKK and other terrorist organizations that stepped up harassment of Turkish military bases and the police.
The PKK terrorist group managed to establish a foothold in Sinjar in mid-2014, on the pretext of protecting the local Yazidi community from Daesh.
Since then, the PKK has reportedly established a new base in Sinjar for logistics and command-and-control activities.
Turkey has continuously said it will not tolerate national security threats and called on Iraqi officials to take necessary steps to eliminate the terrorists.
Ankara said if the steps were not taken, it would not shy away from targeting the group in Iraq.
Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), in the meantime, has also called the PKK's presence in Sinjar unacceptable and urged militants to leave the area.
Turkish military regularly conducts cross-border operations on PKK hideouts and bases in northern Iraq, from which they carry out attacks inside Turkey.
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 nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.