ANKARA, Turkey ( Associated Press) – Turkey has launched a new cross-border ground and air-border operation against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, killing at least 19 suspected Kurdish rebels and wounding at least four Turkish soldiers. is, Turkey’s defense minister said on Monday.
Turkish jets and artillery attacked suspected targets of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and commando troops – supported by helicopters and drones – then crossed into the area by ground or were airlifted by helicopters, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar posted Said in a video made. Ministry website.
Akar said that the jets successfully struck shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, ammunition depots and headquarters belonging to the PKK. The group maintains bases in northern Iraq and uses the area for attacks on Turkey.
The ministry said that at least 19 militants were killed, while four Turkish soldiers were wounded in the attack. There was no immediate comment from the Kurdish militant group on the infiltration, and the defense ministry’s statement could not be independently confirmed.
Turkey has conducted several cross-border air and ground operations against the PKK over the past decades. The latest offensive, codenamed Operation Claw Lock, was centered in the Matina, Jap and Avashin-Basyan regions of northern Iraq.
There was no information about the number of troops and jets involved in the latest incursion.
Akar said in a second video, “Our heroic commandos and maroon berets – supported by attack helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, armed unmanned aerial vehicles – reached the scene by land and air and captured the assigned targets.” “Many terrorists were killed.”
“At this point we have reached, all the planned targets have been captured,” he said.
The Defense Ministry said the new offensive was launched after it was determined the terrorists were regrouping and preparing for a “massive attack”.
The ministry said the offensive was carried out “in coordination with Turkey’s “friends and allies”, but did not elaborate. Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, which controls the areas that were attacked.
The Turkish minister said the infiltration was targeting “terrorists” and was showing “maximum sensitivity” to avoid damage to civilians and cultural and religious structures.
The PKK, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union, has killed tens of thousands of people since the 1984 insurgency began in Turkey’s majority Kurdish southeast region.