Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar late Saturday reiterated the country's determination to eradicate the presence of terror elements threatening national security, during his visit to Turkish troops at a base in northern Iraq.
At least 44 terrorists have been killed in Turkey's recent cross-border anti-terror operations, Akar told troops at the base in northern Iraq, where he paid a visit along with high-level military officials to monitor the anti-terror operations.
Akar said anti-terror efforts will continue until the last terrorist is eliminated.
Turkey launched a new large-scale military operation against terrorists on April 23 in northern Iraq's Metina and Avasin-Basyan regions near Turkey's borders.
PKK terrorists often use northern Iraq as a base to plan cross-border terrorist attacks on Turkey.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) 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.
Earlier in the day, Akar, along with high-level military officials, also paid a visit to Turkey's southeastern border province of Şırnak to monitor anti-terror operations directed from the border province.
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.