Jets neutralise at least two terrorists from the terror group as Turkey carries out an operation after recent PKK escalations.
Turkish military jets have struck PKK terror targets in northern Iraq neutralising at least two terrorists, as part of a campaign dubbed Operation Claw-Eagle.
Starting on Sunday evening, the Turkish Ministry of Defence, said that its forces had struck a ‘major blow’ against the terrorist organisation, which has been responsible for more than 40,000 civilian and security personnel deaths in Turkey during an almost four-decade-long campaign of terror.
Military officials said targets were struck in the Sinjar, Qandil, Karacak, Zap, Avasin-Basyan and Hakurk areas of northern Iraq.
The PKK terrorist group uses the mountains of northern Iraq as a launchpad for attacks within Turkey.
Operation Claw-Eagle launched on Monday in response to an increase of attacks and attempted attacks against Turkish police and military bases, according to Turkey’s National Defense Ministry.
The operation is being carried out “to ensure the security of the Turkish people and the country's borders by neutralising the PKK and other terrorist organisations.”
The operation targeted at least 81 positions, which included caves used for weapons storage and providing shelter to terrorists.
The operations are being commanded by Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, alongside officers from Turkey’s Armed Forces Command.
They involved jets, typically the F16 fighter, alongside unmanned aerial vehicles, and refuelling support aircraft.
“Regardless of the location, we will eradicate terrorist nests that endanger our country’s security. Terrorism and its backers will definitely lose,” said Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman forr Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu added: “We have dealt a heavy blow to the (PKK) terrorist organisation in northern Iraq...I congratulate the armed forces personnel who successfully carried out the operation.
“Our fight against terrorism will continue resolutely inside and outside.”
Fight against terrorism
Despite heavy losses, PKK terrorists continue to plan and carry out terrorist attacks against Turkish interests, both military and civilians, including women and infants.
The group is listed as a terrorist organisation in Turkey, the European Union, and the US, but it continues to operate under several guises.
In Syria, the local YPG franchise of the terrorist group, works alongside US forces, who have used them against Daesh terrorists, despite the YPG’s own record of terrorist attacks.
The YPG brand of the PKK has carried out frequent bomb attacks targeting Syrian civilians in areas liberated from their control in northern Syria.
Turkey has previously launched operations against terrorist groups in both Iraq and Syria.
Notable campaigns recently include Operation Olive Branch in 2018, which liberated Syria’s Afrin region from PKK-linked YPG terrorists, and Operation Euphrates Shield in 2017, which targeted the Daesh terrorist group and the YPG.
In October 2019, Turkey established a safety corridor in northern Syria to allow refugees to return home, as part of Operation Peace Spring.
In July 2019, a YPG attack killed 21 people in Azaz, and in April, the terror group detonated a fuel tanker in the city of Afrin during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, killing more than 40, including 11 children.
Last week, a PKK terror attack killed two road workers and injured eight others in the eastern Van province when a private service vehicle was attacked with homemade explosives.