Turkish forces neutralize 9 PKK terrorists in northern Iraq

Published 30.07.2019 15:01
Updated 30.07.2019 17:43
emDHA Photo/em
DHA Photo

Turkish forces neutralized nine PKK terrorists during counterterrorism operations in northern Iraq, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.

Airstrikes were carried out in the Avasin region in coordination with Turkey's ongoing military offensive Operation Claw, neutralizing three terrorists, the ministry said early Tuesday on Twitter.

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

The airstrikes also destroyed weapon emplacements and shelters used by PKK terrorists, the ministry added.

Turkish border troops also neutralized two PKK terrorists trying to infiltrate the country from northern Iraq's Metina region, the ministry later added.

Border troops carried out an operation against two terrorists planning an attack, it said.

Another four PKK terrorists were neutralized later in the day in airstrikes in northern Iraq.

On May 27, Turkey launched Operation Claw against the PKK in the Hakurk region of northern Iraq. Over 265 terrorists have been neutralized in northern Iraq since the operation began.

The Hakurk region is among the main locations PKK terrorists use to infiltrate Turkey or attack Turkish border outposts. The area is located 30 to 40 kilometers south of the Derecik district of southeastern Hakkari province, bordering Iraq, and currently serves as the main base for terrorists between their headquarters in the Qandil mountains near the border with Iran and Turkey.

The Hakurk area facilitates terrorist crossings between Qandil and Iraq's Salahuddin province that borders Syria, where the PKK's Syrian offshoot, the People's Protection Units (YPG), control large swathes of territory.

Meanwhile, simultaneous operations also take place within Turkey, especially in the southeastern regions. Turkish security forces on Monday caught a wanted terrorist in Turkey's eastern Erzurum province, according to the Interior Ministry.

The terrorist is said to be responsible for last month's killing of Savcı Küçük, a ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) member of the Erzurum City Council, as well as his nephew Ahmet Küçük.

Muhammet Fadullah Kamış, code named "Sevger," was on the Interior Ministry's wanted terrorist list with a bounty of TL 300,000 on his head.

Kamış admitted during interrogation that he killed Küçük and his nephew, the province's governor, Okay Memis, told reporters.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

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