Turkey Launches Military Offensive Against PKK in Northern Iraq

Turkey’s Defense Ministry informed early on Monday that it has conducted a major cross-border military offensive targeting Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq.

The ground and air cross-border offensive centered in northern Iraq’s Metina, Zap, and Avashin-Basyan regions against Kurdish militants Ankara launched was announced by the Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in a video posted on the ministry’s website.

PKK, which is also designated a terrorist group by the US and the EU, has long used its bases in northern Iraq to organize and support cross-border attacks on Turkey.

Targets belonging to PKK, including shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, ammunition depots, and headquarters, were first successfully stricken by Turkish jets and artillery before commandos crossed into the neighboring region by land or were airlifted by helicopters, supported by helicopters and drones.

Akar said that Operation Claw Lock, whose first phase has been achieved, is aimed at preventing terror attacks to ensure Turkey’s border security but that’s something that Ankara has already been doing over the past decades conducting cross-border aerial and ground operations against the PKK.

He stressed that during the incursion, the only target was the terrorists, underscoring that Turkish troops have shown maximum sensitivity to avoid damage to civilians and cultural and religious structures.

There was no immediate statement from the PKK, a Kurdish militant political organization and armed guerrilla movement fighting for an independent Kurdistan which took up arms against Turkey in 1984, creating conflict was mainly focused on south-east Turkey during which more than 40,000 people have been killed so far.

According to Turkish officials, Baghdad is firmly on their side in fighting the PKK, but no official statement has been issued so far from the Iraqi side.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.