Strikes against PKK terrorists carried out in northern Iraq's Sinjar, northeastern Syria

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL
Published 25.04.2017 09:25
Updated 25.04.2017 19:06
Turkish Chief of the General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar (R) and Air Force Commander Gen. Abidin Ünal assess the results of the airstrike in the situation room in General Staff headquarters in Ankara, April 25, 2017. (Photo: Turkish Armed Forces)
Turkish Chief of the General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar (R) and Air Force Commander Gen. Abidin Ünal assess the results of the airstrike in the situation room in General Staff headquarters in Ankara, April 25, 2017. (Photo: Turkish Armed Forces)

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has carried out airstrikes against PKK terrorists near northern Iraq's Sinjar Mountain and areas in Karaçok Mountain in northeastern Syria, according to a statement released by the Turkish General Staff on Tuesday.

The anti-terror operations were launched at around 2 a.m. local time on previously identified targets in the region, aiming to prevent PKK terrorists from smuggling weapons and explosives into Turkey for future attacks, the military statement elaborated.

The targeted regions have become "terror hubs" for the PKK, which were used as an ammunition and terrorist source for PKK attacks within Turkey, the statement added.

The air operation was conducted "within the scope of the international law" and "with the aim of destroying the hot beds of terrorism which target the unity, integrity, and safety of our country and nation," the statement said.


The TSK also released the footages of the airstrikes. In the first footage, an ammunition depot and a communications center are seen exploding after an airstrike in Karachok in Syria. The second footage shows a large transmitter antenna and surrounding compound located in Iraq's Sinjar region destroyed in an airstrike. The last footage shows a shelter and training ground in Sinjar being destroyed.

Meanwhile, Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said that six of its security forces were killed in overnight strikes, however, blaming the PKK and its affiliates for causing the strikes in the first place.

The peshmerga, the region's armed forces, said in a statement the strikes are "unacceptable," however that the apparent accident should be blamed on the PKK terrorist group, whose affiliates were the target of the strikes.

The strikes in the Sinjar area of northern Iraq were against positions held by the Yazidi Protection Units (YBS), a militia supported by the PKK, which Ankara considers a terrorist group.

Founded in 1978, the PKK has waged a decades long bloody campaign against Turkey.

The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU, resumed its armed campaign in July 2015 after a brief reconciliation period.

Since then, the terrorist group has been responsible for the deaths of some 1,200 security personnel and civilians, including women and children, while more than 4,000 security personnel and over 2,000 civilians have been injured.

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