Turkish air strikes destroy 16 PKK targets in Northern Iraq, Turkey’s top brass says
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkish air forces destroyed 16 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in Northern Iraq on Tuesday.
During the operation, caves, shelters and military quarters of the PKK in the Asos Mountain have been destroyed, Akar said in a press briefing in southeastern Sirnak on Thursday, where he reiterated that his country respects the territorial integrity of Iraq.
The Turkish military that regularly conducts cross-border operations in northern Iraq, launched air strikes against Kurdish militants in the region in April, dubbed “Operation Claw Lock.”
Operation Claw-Lock, the latest of Turkey’s Claw series, continues with “great success and determination,” Akar said.
“We respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty rights of all our neighbors, especially of Iraq and Syria. Syrians, Iraqis are our brothers. Our problem is not with them, but with terrorists,” he said.
However, according to Iraqi presidency, the operation within Iraq’s border is a “violation” of the country’s sovereignty and a “threat to its national security.”
“The repetition of Turkish military operations inside the Iraqi borders in the Kurdistan Region, without coordinating with the Iraqi federal government, despite previous calls to stop them is unacceptable,” the presidency said following the announcement of Turkey’s “Operation Claw-Loc.”
PKK is an outlawed armed group in Turkey, fighting an insurgency on Turkish soil for almost four decades and designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.