Turkish airstrikes neutralize 15 more PKK terrorists in northern Iraq

Published 10.07.2019 11:46
Updated 10.07.2019 12:37
emAA File Photo/em
AA File Photo

Turkish airstrikes neutralized 15 PKK terrorists in northern Iraq, Turkey's National Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The terrorists were "neutralized" in the Haftanin region as part of airstrikes carried out in coordination with Operation Claw, the ministry said on Twitter.

Turkish authorities often use the term "neutralized" in statements to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

Turkish jets also destroyed weapon pits, shelters and munition depots used by PKK terrorists.

Operation Claw was launched on May 27 as Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler and Army, Air Force and Navy commanders directed the operation throughout the night at the Command and Operation Center at General Staff headquarters in Ankara.

Turkey had previously warned the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and Iraqi government numerous times to eliminate the PKK's presence to maintain Turkey's border security. Despite top officials from both governments often expressing their discomfort with PKK camps and activities, saying that they won't allow militants to attack Turkey from their soil, no serious action was taken in this regard.

With no concrete results from the efforts of Iraq and the KRG, Turkey has been going its own way in recent years and taking a hard line against the PKK presence in northern Iraq. Last year, security forces crossed 30 kilometers (17 miles) into northern Iraq and nearly 200 terrorists have been killed in months of operations against PKK targets.

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