1,302 detained in anti-terror operations, Turkish jets hit PKK camps in Iraq: Turkey's Prime Ministry

Published 29.07.2015 01:59
Updated 29.07.2015 15:06
Photo courtesy of Turkish Air Forces
Photo courtesy of Turkish Air Forces

The Prime Ministry released a press statement on Wednesday regarding the latest operations carried out against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the PKK and the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) terror organizations both in Turkey's borders and in northern Iraq.

In the night of July 28 and early morning of July 29, PKK camps in Zap, Metina, Gara, Avaşin-Basyan, Hakurk and the Qandil Mountains in northern Iraq were hit by Turkish fighter jets in an operation named after the recently killed gendarmerie major, Arslan Kulaksız, the statement said.

The number of detained ISIS, PKK and DHKP-C suspects in the operation initiated last week has increased to 1,309, it added.

Early on Wednesday, Turkish media outlets reported that Turkish F-16 warplanes departing from Diyarbakır's 8th Main Jet Base and hit several PKK camps in northern Iraq.

The attack was the biggest assault since the campaign began last week, according to a government official who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the operations.

After the Suruç suicide bombing in southeastern Turkey, which claimed 32 lives and wounded more than 100, the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and PKK blamed the government for the massacre. Since then the PKK has been implicated in the killing of 11 Turkish officers.

Following the PKK killings, Ankara has intensified its counterterror operations. Having conducted many airstrikes against ISIS and the PKK within the country as well as in Syria and Iraq, Turkey is fighting against both terror organizations effectively.

As prime minister, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan initiated negotiations in 2012 to try to end the PKK insurgency that had largely been fought in the predominantly-Kurdish southeast and has killed nearly 40,000 people since 1984. A fragile cease-fire had been holding since March 2013.

Western allies have said they recognize Turkey's right to self-defense but have strongly urged fellow NATO member Turkey not to allow peace efforts with the PKK to collapse.

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