President Erdogan says Turkey aims to rid the country's southern borders of terrorism completely as Ankara launches a new Operation Claw-Lightning and Claw-Thunderbolt in northern Iraq.
An operation launched on Friday night against terrorists in northern Iraq aims to completely eliminate the terrorist threat along Turkey’s southern borders, the Turkish president has said.
“This operation, carried out with respect for Iraq’s territorial integrity, will contribute to the establishment of peace and security in the region,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said via video link to the Operations Claw-Thunderbolt and Claw-Lightning command centre on Saturday.
He stressed that Turkey aims to rid its southern borders of terrorism against efforts to establish a terrorist presence there.
The separatist terrorist group PKK often uses bases in northern Iraq, just across Turkey’s southern border, to hide out and plot terror attacks in Turkey.
There is no place for separatist terrorist groups in the future of Turkey or neighbouring Iraq or Syria, said Erdogan.
So far in the operation many terrorists have been neutralised and multiple shelters and caves destroyed, he added.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.