Speaking at a press conference regarding Turkey’s air strikes and anti-terror operations against militant groups, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Saturday that the Turkish government will not condone militants threats.
Davutoğlu said "The operations targeting members of ISIS, the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP-C), the outlawed PKK and the PKK’s youth affiliate the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H) will continue as long as the threats remain.”
Turkey has stepped up efforts against militant groups such as ISIS and the PKK after violent attacks arose after a suicide attack on July 20 allegedly carried out by ISIS which killed 32 people in the Suruc district of the southeastern Sanliurfa province.
Following the attack, four Turkish police officers were killed in various attacks. The PKK claimed responsibility for at least one of the attacks.
In last two days, Turkey launched two different air strikes targeting several positions used by the PKK and ISIS in northern Iraq and Syria respectively.
PM Davutoglu said that the second wave of air strikes against the outlawed PKK in northern Iraq was supported by Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masoud Barzani.
Answering a question about his contact with Barzani, Davutoglu said “I had the opportunity to communicate with Barzani regarding the objectives and framework of the operation against the PKK and ISIS, especially in northern Iraq. He said these operations are on legitimate grounds.”
Davutoglu also stated that he had spoken to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg regarding the strikes.
On Friday night and in the early hours of Saturday, the Turkish air forces bombed PKK camps in northern Iraq for the first time in last two-and-a-half years.
The PKK and ISIS are listed as terrorist organizations by Turkey as well as the US and EU.
Separately, Turkish police detained a total of 590 people, including at least 37 foreigners, in joint operations launched in 22 Turkish provinces against ISIS, the PKK, and DHKP-C, said the prime minister.
Davutoglu said that 302 people had been detained on Friday and 288 others on Saturday.
“Since the June 7 elections, there have been 281 terror attacks, including 121 armed attacks, five kidnappings, 17 extortions, in which five officers were killed. We cannot leave the field empty against terrorism,” Davutoglu emphasized.
The Turkish PM also added that the Turkish parliament would likely gather on Wednesday, following a request from main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), to discuss the latest operation against the PKK and ISIS.