Turkey

'Turkey's operations in Iraq continue with greater pace'

Turkish defense minister briefs lawmakers in wake of PKK’s massacre of 13 Turkish citizens

Emin Avundukluoglu   | 16.02.2021
'Turkey's operations in Iraq continue with greater pace'

ANKARA

Turkey's anti-terror operations against the PKK terror group in northern Iraq are underway with greater force and pace, the country's defense minister said on Tuesday.

Hulusi Akar briefed the lawmakers in the parliament in the wake of the terrorist group PKK’s killing of 13 Turkish citizens over the weekend.

"Our anti-operations against PKK -- which is struggling to survive -- in northern Iraq continue uninterrupted with greater force and pace. The Turkish Armed Forces inflicted a heavy blow on the PKK in Gara [northern Iraq] in an area of ​​75 kilometers [46.6 miles] by 25 kilometers [15.5 miles] where terrorists used to feel safe," Akar said.

Akar noted that Turkey’s anti-terror offensive Operation Claw-Eagle 2 in Gara has been carried out in an area of 35 km (21.7 mi) off Turkey's borders without any land support.

"[This] critical and important operation differs in quality from the others. ... There was a wide preparation process for the operation under intense measures," he said, adding: "Before the operation, which was carried out in coordination with our friends and allies, the targets were carefully selected, and maximum attention and sensitivity were paid to the protection of life and property of the civilian population.

"During the operation, the special forces called for the surrender of two terrorists, but no one came out," Akar noted, saying the Turkish forces were responded with fire by terrorists from a cave.

He said the operation was carried out under very difficult conditions through security measures "in a way that not every country can do".

During the operation, 51 terrorists were killed and two were captured, Akar stressed.

"From now on, the [PKK] terrorist organization will no longer feel comfortable as it did yesterday. The blood of our martyrs has not been left on the ground, and it will not be," he said.

The bodies of the 13 Turkish citizens were found during the operation in northern Iraq, Akar said earlier on Sunday.

Turkish forces launched Operation Claw-Eagle 2 on Feb. 10 to prevent the PKK and other terror groups from re-establishing positions used to carry out cross-border terror attacks on Turkey.

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

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

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