With Turkey ramping up its fight to eliminate terrorist elements within or near its borders, security forces have launched the eighth phase of a domestic anti-terror operation, the Interior Ministry announced Wednesday. Operation Kıran-8 is underway in rural areas in the eastern provinces of Bitlis and Siirt.
A total of 3,480 security personnel, including gendarmerie, police forces and village guards, are taking part in the operation.
On Aug. 17, Turkey launched Operation Kıran in the country's southeast against PKK terrorists in Van, Hakkari and Şırnak provinces, followed by the launch of Operation Kıran-2 on Aug. 27 in Mardin, Şırnak and Batman provinces. Six more iterations of the operation have since followed, including the latest.
A total of 139 terrorists have been killed and over 300 caves, shelters, and warehouses destroyed in the last four months during Operation Kıran, according to Turkey's Interior Ministry.
Turkish security forces regularly conduct counterterrorism operations in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey, where the PKK has attempted to establish a strong presence and bases. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also carries out cross-border operations in northern Iraq, a region where PKK terrorists have hideouts and bases from which to carry out attacks on Turkey.
Operations intensified after July 2018 and have become routine since the beginning of another extensive campaign, Operation Claw, which was launched May 27 and aimed to entirely eliminate the presence of the terrorist organization in northern Iraq.
On July 13, the TSK launched Operation Claw-2 as a follow up to the successful Claw-1. As in the first, the second phase of the operation also included deployments to northern Iraq's Hakurk region and aimed to continue to destroy weapon placements and shelters used by PKK terrorists.
Operation Claw-3, the third phase of the original operation, was initiated on Aug. 23 in the Sinat-Haftanin region of northern Iraq. The operation was launched to facilitate border security, eliminate the presence of terrorists, and destroy terrorist caves and shelters in the region.
Over the course of 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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