Defense Ministry: Türkiye to secure its southern borders by summer - M5 Dergi
Defence NewsÖne Çıkan

Defense Ministry: Türkiye to secure its southern borders by summer

Abone Ol 

The Turkish military will finalize its counterterrorism Operation Claw-Lock against the PKK terrorists on the border with Iraq this summer, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.

Türkiye’s anti-terror operations are continuing at full speed, in a way that will disable the PKK from carrying out any attacks, Defense Ministry spokesperson Zeki Aktürk told reporters.

Aktürk also said the Turkish military eliminated 75 PKK/YPG terrorists in the past two weeks, including those hiding across the border in northern Iraq and Syria.

A total of 748 terrorists have been “eliminated,” with 331 in northern Iraq and 417 in northern Syria since Jan. 1. Turkish authorities use the term “eliminated” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered, were killed or captured.

One PKK terrorist who escaped from shelters in northern Iraq surrendered at the Habur border post, Aktürk added.

In its nearly 40-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the U.S., and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

The PKK carried out attacks killing more than a dozen Turkish soldiers in the past two months in northern Iraq, a high toll that only increased Turkish operations in the region.

Since Turkish operations have driven its domestic presence to near extinction, the PKK has moved a large chunk of its operations to northern Iraq, including a stronghold in the Qandil Mountains, located roughly 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of the Turkish border in Irbil.

Türkiye has over the past 25 years operated several dozen military bases in northern Iraq in its war against the PKK, as well as the war against Daesh, which controlled much of the area, in 2014 and 2015, when Ankara was an ally in the U.S.-led anti-Daesh campaign.

Operation Claw-Lock was launched in April 2022 as part of Ankara’s intensifying offensives to demolish terrorist lairs across Metina, Avashin-Basyan, Zap and Gara districts and prevent the formation of a terror corridor along Turkish borders.

The PKK also currently occupies Sinjar, Makhmour, Qandil and Sulaymaniyah in the region, which Türkiye says threatens the territorial integrity of Iraq but neither Baghdad nor Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) recognize the PKK as a terror group officially and Turkish strikes remain a prickling issue between the neighbors.

Turkish officials have repeatedly urged Iraq, as well as the KRG, to recognize the PKK as a terrorist group, assuring Türkiye’s respect of Iraq’s sovereignty and commitment to only targeting terrorists.

In recent months, the Turkish defense minister and intelligence chiefs paid visits to Baghdad and Irbil to discuss security cooperation, which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has hailed as having “softened the mood” after the killing of Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq but the foothold the PKK has been gaining in KRG-run Sulaymaniyah through the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) is still troubling for Ankara.

Illegal crossings into Türkiye

Regarding illegal border crossings into Türkiye, Aktürk said 373 people, including 11 members of terror organizations, were apprehended while attempting to cross in the last two weeks.

Another, 4,784 people were prevented from crossing.

“The number of people caught while attempting to cross our borders illegally since Jan. 1 has risen to 2,485. The number of people who have been prevented from crossing the border without success has reached 46,305,” he said.

Approximately 45 kilograms (99 pounds) of narcotics and seven handguns were seized in operations conducted in the last two weeks, the spokesperson added.

Regional, global peace

Aktürk stressed that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) continued successful missions in various geographies within the framework of bilateral relations and international missions.

Türkiye’s TCG Bandırma and the German Navy’s FGS Baden Württember frigates conducted transit training, while two U.S. Air Force B-1B aircraft and Turkish F-16s conducted aerial refueling and Joint Attack Controller training.

Additionally, the Olives Noires-2024 training program in France, Sea Shield-2024 in Romania and Desert Flag-9/2024 exercises in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) are ongoing, according to Aktürk.

Türkiye’s National Anatolian Eagle Training, which began April 15, is currently in progress, he said.

A Confidence-Building Measures Meeting will be held in Athens on Monday with the participation of delegations from Greece and Türkiye, the spokesperson added.

Israel-Palestine conflict

Aktürk urged the international community to stop Israel’s attacks against Palestinians and demanded immediate action to prevent a “further catastrophe,” emphasizing the urgent need for justice and a “humanitarian stance.”

“The international community has only condemned this atrocity and ignored the risk of the spread of attacks throughout the region,” he noted.

Abone Ol 

Related Articles

Abone Ol 
Back to top button