Ankara will continue to call to account those who target its security, Hulusi Akar says in wake of new cross-border anti-terror operation
Türkiye “successfully” destroyed terrorists’ hideouts during a new air operation in northern regions of Iraq and Syria, the nation’s defense minister said on Sunday.
“Terrorists’ shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, and warehouses were successfully destroyed. We followed them closely. The so-called headquarters of the terrorist organization were also hit and destroyed,” Hulusi Akar said in his address to the operations center from the capital Ankara.
His remarks came after Türkiye early Sunday carried out Operation Claw-Sword, a new cross-border offensive against the PKK/KCK/YPG terrorist group in northern Iraq and Syria. The Defense Ministry said the operation was carried out in line with the right of self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter.
“Only terrorists and hideouts belonging to them were targeted … The claw of our Turkish Armed Forces was once again on the terrorists,” Akar said.
Türkiye will continue to call to account those who target the country’s security, he vowed.
The operation follows last Sunday’s terror attack on Istanbul’s crowded Istiklal Avenue that killed at least six and left 81 injured.
“Our aim is to ensure the security of our 85 million citizens and our borders, and to respond to any treacherous attack on our country,” Akar stressed.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the terror group’s Syrian offshoot.
Vice President Fuat Oktay said Turkish Armed Forces called the terrorists to account.
“We will continue to make traitors pay the price,” Oktay said on Twitter.
Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Türkiye has the full sovereign right to determine and eliminate any terrorist threat wherever it may come from.
“Türkiye conducts its anti-terror operations in line with international law and will continue to do so with or without the support of its allies,” Kalin said on Twitter.
Separately, Communication Director Fahrettin Altun reiterated that terrorists’ targets were “successfully” destroyed at the operation.
“We will continue to defeat the efforts of terrorism and its sponsors to destabilize Türkiye, and to destroy terrorism at its source,” Altun said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the Turkish presidency shared photos of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordering the start of the air operation on his return from Indonesia where he visited to attend the Group of 20 summit.