Turkish forces eliminate 13 PKK/YPG terrorists in Iraq, Syria - M5 Dergi
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Turkish forces eliminate 13 PKK/YPG terrorists in Iraq, Syria

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Türkiye has eliminated 13 members of the PKK/YPG terror group in northern Iraq and Syria, the Defense Ministry said.

“The Turkish Armed Forces eliminated 10 PKK terrorists detected in the Operation Claw and Operation Claw-Lock zones in northern Iraq and 3 PKK/YPG terrorists in northern Syria and (Operation) Olive Branch zones,” the ministry said on X.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) continue to destroy terrorist dens, it added.

The PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union – is responsible for over 40,000 civilian and security personnel deaths in Türkiye during an almost four-decadelong campaign of terror.

Since the 1980s, Türkiye has been carrying out operations both in the country and beyond its borders, including in Iraq and Syria, to root out the terrorist group. The crackdown escalated thanks to a stronger army and advancing defense technology, as well as the expanding work of the intelligence service.

Authorities say the number of active PKK terrorists within Türkiye trickled down to hundreds when they were thousands a few decades ago. 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 and has been conducting airstrikes as part of “Claw” operations since 2022 to demolish terrorist lairs in the Metina, Avashin-Basyan, Zap and Gara regions of Iraq and prevent the formation of a terror corridor along its borders. After eradicating the group’s influence in these regions, Türkiye also aims to clear Sinjar, Makhmour and Qandil.

Ankara has asked Iraq for more cooperation in combating the PKK. Baghdad labeled the group a banned organization in March and set up two military bases in the northern Zakho region in April.

Also in April, Baghdad set up two military bases in the northern Zakho region to counter PKK terrorism, marking the first military deployment of troops to the region in the past three decades and increasing cooperation with Ankara against the terror group.

Türkiye plans a new swoop in on the PKK militants this summer and says Iraqi cooperation is paramount to eradicating the group “at its roots.”

Ankara also battles the YPG in northern Syria, where they plot attacks on Turkish forces or the local populations.

Since 2016, Turkish forces have conducted a trio of successful anti-terror operations across the border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018) and Peace Spring (2019).

Türkiye has recently been disturbed by the PKK/YPG’s plans for “local elections” in civil war-torn Syria’s northern territories which the terrorist group has occupied since 2015.

The PKK/YPG has since postponed the so-called elections to August 2024 after warnings from Türkiye and its ally the U.S. but Ankara wants them canceled altogether.

For Türkiye, the “unacceptable” move is the first step to establishing a “PKK-run state” in Syria’s north, immediately across the border, as well as a threat to the territorial integrity of Syria.

Source: DailySabah

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