Middle East

13 Turkish citizens, executed by PKK, found dead in N.Iraq terror cave

Turkey's defense chief says Operation Claw-Eagle 2 completed

Sarp Ozer   | 14.02.2021
13 Turkish citizens, executed by PKK, found dead in N.Iraq terror cave

SIRNAK, Turkey

Bodies of 13 Turkish citizens were found during Turkey’s anti-terror operation in northern Iraq, according to the Turkish defense chief on Sunday.

"While our activities in the Operation Claw-Eagle 2 zone were continuing, the mortal remains of 13 citizens were found in a cave,” said Hulusi Akar at the operations center on the border in southeastern Sirnak province.

He said the innocent and unarmed Turks were shot dead -- one in the shoulder, and the rest in their heads.

“According to the information by two terrorists who were captured alive, our citizens were martyred by the 'cave manager' before the start of the anti-terror operation in the hideout," the minister said. “All terrorists who martyred our citizens were neutralized."

Turkish authorities use the term “neutralized” to imply that the terrorists in question were killed, captured or surrendered.

"Many weapons and ammunition belonging to terrorists were seized in the cave in Gara, where the PKK terrorist organization, an enemy of humanity, killed our civilians brutally," the National Defense Ministry said in a separate statement.

Turkey launched Operation Claw-Eagle 2 on Feb. 10 to prevent the PKK/KCK and other terror groups from re-establishing positions used to carryout cross-border terror attacks.

Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle were initiated last June to ensure the safety of Turks, and Turkey's borders.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

Operation concludes

Forty-eight PKK terrorists, including two senior members, were neutralized during the “extremely special and critical" operation in the Gara region, Akar said.

He said the region was mostly cleared of the terror group. "The operation has been completed. Our land and air elements returned to their bases and barracks safely.”

During the campaign, more than 50 terror targets, including ammunition depots, caves and bases in Gara were destroyed, he added.

According to him, three Turkish soldiers were martyred and three others injured in the land operation.

*Writing by Sena Guler in Ankara

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