What’s the most important goal of Turkey’s new military operation in Iraq? - MEHMET ACET

What’s the most important goal of Turkey’s new military operation in Iraq?

The green light for a military operation was given at midnight over the weekend as the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) launched a new campaign into northern Iraq to “combat terrorism at the place of its origin.” 

 Prior to writing this article yesterday, I obtained some information from security sources regarding the first two days of the military intervention. 

This information is as follows: 

-Destroying the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) logistics, training areas, and shelters was prioritized in the first hours of air raids conducted by drones and warcraft. 

-The offensive is successfully continuing. We will keep our eyes on the ball. Currently, there aren’t any large-scale front clashes. 

-Iraq’s bordering regions, from Hakurk to the Syrian border, were secured by establishing temporary bases within the framework of fighting terrorism at its source. Only the Zap region was left out. The goal is to complete this missing piece through the current operation, and secure the entire Iraqi border. 

 

The significance of Zap 

While sources note the significance of the Zap region in the context of our anti-terrorism strategy, they also highlight the detail that is “Gara.”

The public will recall Gara through the devastating event on Feb. 13, 2021, when 13 Turkish citizens, soldiers, police, and civilians were martyred after being held captive in a cave.

Gara, which is known as the PKK’s “military base” in northern Iraq, is situated right behind the Zap region, which is the target of the operation that was launched last weekend. 

 The PKK conducts its military training in Gara. That is where the organization’s population and force is based. Their leadership headquarters are in Qandil, but their actual forces remain in Gara. Their training areas, communication, infrastructure, armament, etc, are all based there.

Sources draw attention to the fact that Zap is the Turkey-facing side of Gara. 

Hence, Operation Claw-Lock aims to establish complete border security by “blocking off” that area. 


A history rife with terror 

Turkey’s fight against terrorism has a four-decade history, which includes deep grievances and losses due to the lack of adequate means. 

The country experienced major traumas, what with outpost raids and constant reports of killings across the country during this period. 

These were the times when PKK terrorists freely roamed the Iraqi mountains, easily crossed the border, and organized attacks.  

We must never forget how far we came, and never give up on the gains we made in this respect. 

When cross-border operations were conducted in the past, we would return after shooting at rocks and mountains. 

Our new anti-terrorism strategy, on the other hand, involves the principle of fighting and remaining on site. 

Once the border is crossed, temporary bases are built to prevent the PKK from crossing the border. 

The terror organization has largely lost its operation capacity for some time now. 

They neither have the strength nor courage to lift up their heads due to the drones hovering over them. 

 

How has Turkey achieved success against terrorism?

Some of the underlying factors of the gains made in the fight against terrorism are: 

-Professionals on the field, in other words, well-trained military experts, 

-The strong progress in drone technology, 

-The strong motivation and synchronization among institutions: security forces and intelligence units focused on their jobs with sound coordination. 

We must never forget the events that led to today.

The events that took place in the process leading up to the 2016 coup attempt, and the explosions in Turkish metropolises—Istanbul, Ankara, Gaziantep, and Kayseri—must not be forgotten. 

The PKK’s efforts to carry the U.S.-cultivated “Rojava Project” in Syria into Turkish territory, the ditches it dug up in Turkey’s southeast—in Sur, Diyarbakır, and in Şırnak—and the terrorist operations it conducted in those cities must not be forgotten. 

It was thanks to our achievements in the strenuous battles here that we are able to now hunt down the PKK in Iraq and Syria. 

We need to meticulously monitor what those groups that are seeking to blow up all these gains are cooking up. 

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