Turkey launches counterterror operation in northern Iraq
Turkey's military has launched an operation in northern Iraq's Hakurk region in a bid to destroy the PKK terror group's bases, the defence ministry said on Tuesday.
The presence of PKK terror elements the area has been posing a national security threat to Ankara for decades with frequent attacks in southeastern Turkey.
Dubbed Operation Claw, the military offensive is aimed at neutralising terrorists and destroying the caves and shelters they are using in the mountainous Iraqi region.
It began on Monday with artillery shelling and continued with air strikes and commando operations, officials said.
They said air strikes destroyed weapons positions, shelters, caves and ammunition depots used by the terrorists with support from combat drones.
The ministry underlined that the operation was ongoing as planned, adding some nine terrorists were neutralised.
Turkey's Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and top generals of the Turkish Armed Forces commanded the operation throughout the night.
TRT World spoke with political analyst Hakki Ocal for more insights.
Also on Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan posted a statement on Twitter wishing success to the Turkish soldiers in this "difficult" cross-border operation.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including many women and children.