Turkey has launched a fresh cross-border anti-terror operation against the PKK terrorist group’s hideouts in northern Iraq, the country’s national defense minister said early Monday.
Operation Claw-Lock, in which commando and special forces teams are taking part supported by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), attack helicopters and artillery elements, is particularly targeting the Metina, Zap and Avasin-Basyan areas, said Hulusi Akar.
19 terrorists killed
In these areas, shelters, ammunition depots, headquarters, gathering locations and tunnel networks are being destroyed, he said.
The Ministry of Defense announced that 19 terrorists were neutralized as part of the ongoing operation.
Meanwhile, the National Defense Ministry noted that the operation was launched after it was determined that the terrorist group was planning to initiate a large-scale attack.
The operation is in line with the UN Charter’s principle of self-defense, the ministry said.
Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter that Turkey remains resolute to continue its struggle against the terror group and its sponsors, both within and beyond its borders.
PKK terrorists often hide out in northern Iraq to plot cross-border attacks in Turkey.
Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle began in border regions of northern Iraq in 2020 to ensure the safety of Turkish people and frontiers.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.