Türkiye says nearly 400 PKK terrorists 'neutralized' in northern Iraq since April

Türkiye says nearly 400 PKK terrorists 'neutralized' in northern Iraq since April

Cross-border operations only target terrorists, Türkiye respects borders, sovereignty of neighbors, says defense minister

News Service AA

Turkish security forces have "neutralized" nearly 400 PKK terrorists in northern Iraq since the start of a cross-border operation in April, the country's defense minister said on Monday.

"As part of Operation Claw-Lock, 397 terrorists have been neutralized. All caves, shelters, and so-called terrorist headquarters continue to be checked one by one," Hulusi Akar told commanders via video conference.

Ankara launched Operation Claw-Lock in April to target the PKK terror group's hideouts in Iraq's northern Metina, Zap, and Avasin-Basyan regions near the Turkish border.

Akar said Türkiye will resolutely continue with its counter-terrorism operations "until the last terrorist is neutralized."

"Our only target is terrorists. We respect the borders and sovereign rights of all our neighbors, especially Iraq and Syria. Our only goal is to ensure the security of our borders and citizens," he added.

The defense chief said a total of 2,874 terrorists have been neutralized in northern Iraq and northern Syria since January.

Turkish authorities use the term "neutralize" to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.


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