Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu vowed on Sunday to capture PKK leader Murat Karayılan and "cut him into thousand pieces" following the PKK execution of 13 Turkish citizens in northern Iraq's Gara region.
Sharing an infographic of the casualties in Iraq on his Twitter account, Soylu condemned the terrorist attack.
“In preliminary investigations, it was determined that 12 of our innocent and unarmed citizens were shot in the head and martyred while another was shot in the shoulder and martyred,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Sunday in a statement.
"While our activities in the Operation Claw-Eagle 2 area continue, in a search of a cave taken under control following intense clashes, the bodies of 13 of our abducted citizens were found," said Akar. According to the initial information obtained from the two terrorists captured alive, our citizens were martyred at the start of the operation by the terrorist responsible for the cave,” he said, adding that all the executors in the cave were either captured or killed.
PKK terrorists often use northern Iraq as a base to plan cross-border terrorist attacks on Turkey.
Turkey launched operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle last June to ensure the safety of Turks and its national borders by eliminating terrorist threats. Operation Claw-Eagle 2 was launched on Wednesday.
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, children and infants.