Turkish military's Claw operations decimate PKK terror nests in northern Iraq
Since 2019 Turkish security forces dealt heavy blow to terrorist group PKK with series of anti-terror operations in northern Iraq, near Turkish border
Since 2019, the Turkish military has dealt a serious blow to the terrorist PKK with its series of operations under the Claw umbrella in northern Iraq, close to the Turkish border.
A total of 1,067 terrorists were neutralized as part of the series of Claw operations, which started with Hakurk in 2019, continued with Sinat-Haftanin, expanded with Metina and Avasin-Basyan, and most recently continued with the Zap region.
PKK terrorists often hide out in northern Iraq, close to the Turkish border, to plot attacks in Turkiye.
Terrorist nests in northern Iraq were dispersed in successive operations after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared the adoption of a new strategy in the fight against terrorism.
The first of these operations was carried out three years ago, on May 27, 2019, in the Hakurk region with the aim of destroying caves and shelters used by the terrorist PKK and neutralizing terrorists.
A new phase of the operation was started after the determined targets were successfully gotten under control. Terror nests were decimated in the Claw-2 operation, which was carried out by expanding the area of the initial operation. Turkish soldiers neutralized 126 terrorists in Operation Claw-1 and 102 terrorists in Operation Claw-2.
After the threat to border security from Hakurk was largely eliminated, the Turkish military’s next targets were terrorist nests in the Sinat-Haftanin region.
In August 2019, the National Defense Ministry anounced that "Operation Claw-3 was launched in the Sinat-Haftanin region with the aim of ensuring border security and destroying the caves and shelters of terrorists."
Over 100 terrorists were neutralized in Operation Claw-3.
As Turkiye’s fight against terrorism continued to ramp up, the ministry announced a new operation on June 15, 2020.
As part of Operation Claw-Eagle, air operations were carried out against terrorist targets in Sincar, Karacak, Kandil, Zap, Avasin-Basyan, and Hakurk, areas used as bases by terrorists in northern Iraq.
Immediately after the air operation, Turkish soldiers once again launched an operation in northern Iraq to destroy terrorist targets. As part of Operation Claw-Tiger, commandos supported by the Air Force, fire support vehicles, ATAK helicopters, UAVs and SIHAs were deployed to the Haftanin region.
A total of 228 terrorists were neutralized in the operation.
On Feb. 10, 2021, the Turkish Armed Forces started a new operation against terrorist targets. An intense air operation was carried out after security forces found that the terrorist PKK, suffering heavy losses in the operations, was trying to reestablish shelters in some regions in northern Iraq. Under Operation Claw Eagle-2, targets used by terrorists in the Gara region came under intense fire.
With the operation, the presence of the terrorist PKK in the region was dealt a heavy blow and 65 terrorists were neutralized.
As the counter-terror operations continued, the Turkish Armed Forces launched Operation Pence (Claw) Simsek and Pence Yildirim against terrorist targets in the Metina and Avasin-Basyan regions on April 23, 2021.
The ministry announced that 176 terrorists were neutralized in Pence Simsek and 211 others in Pence Yildirim.
After operations to ensure border security that started with Hakurk, continued with Sinat-Haftanin, and expanded with Metina and Avasin-Basyan, the next target of the Turkish security forces became the Zap region, a strategic PKK target.
This April 17, Turkish security forces launched Operation Claw-Lock in the Zap region, where terrorists fleeing from the Hakurk and Metina regions and some of the terrorist ringleaders were hiding out.
National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced that the targets determined in the first phase of the operation were captured and 57 terrorists were so far neutralized as part of the operations.
* Writing by Zehra Nur Duz
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