Turkish intelligence takes out top PKK figure in Iraq - M5 Dergi
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Turkish intelligence takes out top PKK figure in Iraq

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Türkiye’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) has eliminated a so-called senior member of the PKK terrorist group in northern Iraq, security sources said

Kadri Encu, code-named “Doğan,” was “neutralized” in Iraq’s Gara region, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media. “Neutralized” is an official term used by Türkiye to describe terrorists killed or captured alive. In most operations abroad though, most terrorists are recovered dead.

Encu, who was providing the routes, as well as arms and munitions, for terrorist groups in northern Iraq’s Gara, Zap, Metina and Haftanin regions, to carry out attacks against the region where Türkiye’s anti-terror Operation Claw is taking place.

According to the sources, Encu was the so-called Iraq-Syria officer of the PKK, joined the group’s rural ranks in 2006 and was trained in the Zap region.

He acted as the bodyguard of Duran Kalkan, code-named “Abbas,” and was a member of the PKK’s so-called executive council from 2015 to 2017. He went to Gara as Iraq-Syria courier officer in January 2018, the sources added.

Apart from his so-called courier duties, the sources said, Encu was also involved in the activities of the terrorist group’s foreign relations unit and organized the transfers of PKK terrorists and weapons within Iraq and between Iraq and Syria.

The Turkish intelligence agency has stepped up its operations abroad in recent years to stamp out terrorist activities in Iraq and Syria, Türkiye’s two southeastern neighbors.

In 2022 alone, 23 senior figures of the terrorist group backed by the United States in Syria were eliminated in MIT’s operations in the two countries, while numerous PKK members were brought to Türkiye.

In its over 40-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women and children.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also regularly conduct cross-border operations in northern Iraq, a region where PKK terrorists have hideouts and bases, from where they carry out attacks in Türkiye.

Türkiye launched Operation Claw-Lock last year in April to target the PKK terrorist group’s hideouts in the Metina, Zap and Avasin-Basyan regions of northern Iraq, located near the Turkish border. As part of it, 586 terrorists have been eliminated so far.

It was preceded by two operations – Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle – launched in 2020 to root out terrorists hiding out in northern Iraq and plotting cross-border attacks in Türkiye.

PKK bomb martyrs Turkish soldier

Meanwhile, a Turkish soldier succumbed to his wounds on Saturday after an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by PKK terrorists in northern Iraq exploded, the National Defense Ministry announced.

“On Aug. 26, 2023, in the Operation Claw-Lock region, our heroic brother-in-arms, Specialized Sgt. Taner Torun, was critically injured as a result of an explosion of an IED, which was previously placed by the separatist terrorist organization,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that Torun was immediately transferred to the hospital.

The ministry voiced “deep pain and sadness,” over Torun’s death, expressing condolences to his loved ones, the armed forces, and the nation.

Torun’s death follows six other Turkish soldiers martyred in a harassment fire from PKK in the same region earlier this month.

Since January, 86 harassment incidents and attacks have been carried out by the PKK/YPG terrorist group in Türkiye’s operation areas, and 744 terrorists were “neutralized” with the immediate intervention of Turkish soldiers.

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