Turkish security forces eliminated at least 10 PKK terrorists in both northern Iraq and northern Syria, the National Defense Ministry said, as Ankara told Baghdad that the PKK terrorist group continues its existence in Qandil, northern Iraq, as well as in the Mahmur and Sinjar regions, which are directly under the control of the central government.
Turkish forces eliminated three YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Syria, the National Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
The terrorists were preparing to attack the Operation Euphrates zone and were targeted by fire support vehicles, the ministry said on Twitter.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) targeted three terrorists with airstrikes in Iraq's Metina district near the Turkish border, the ministry also said on Twitter on Saturday.
"We will continue to destroy the terrorists in their lair!" the ministry emphasized.
"One PKK terrorist was identified in the Operation Claw-Lightning region in northern Iraq," said the ministry, adding that the additional three YPG/PKK terrorists who attempted to attack the Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch areas were also killed in northern Syria.
"Our fight against terrorism continues effectively and decisively everywhere," the ministry underlined.
Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents – namely, the Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019) operations.
The latest of these operations were launched April 23 in the Metina and Avasin-Basyan regions near the country's borders.
The PKK is known to have many hideouts and bases in northern Iraq from where it carries out terrorist attacks on Turkey.
The TSK regularly conducts cross-border operations in northern Iraq. Turkey has long stressed 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.
Most recently, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke over the phone with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, according to Turkey's Communications Directorate Saturday. Erdoğan and al-Kadhimi discussed the two countries' relations and regional issues.
During the meeting, Turkey is pleased with the positive course of bilateral relations in the commercial, military and intelligence fields, Erdoğan said, adding that the cooperation in fighting terrorism should be strengthened.
Erdoğan also stressed that the PKK terror group continues its existence in Qandil and northern Iraq, as well as in the Mahmur and Sinjar regions, which are directly under the control of the central government.
In a recent operation held in these regions used by the terrorist PKK and its affiliates, Turkey targeted only the members of the terrorist group, as it has always done before, he said.
One of the targets was not a hospital or health center as claimed by the terrorist organization, but one of the terrorist group's shelters, Erdoğan noted.
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 at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
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