Turkey airlifts commandos into northern Iraq to battle PKK

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Turkey sent troops into northern Iraq to battle militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Defence Ministry said.

The commandos are being supported by attack helicopters, drones and aircraft, the ministry said in a statement on Twitter on Wednesday.

“Operation Claw-Tiger is being carried out as part of our legitimate defence rights arising from international law against the PKK and other terrorist elements that have recently attempted to increase harassment and attacks on our police station and base areas,” the ministry said.

Turkey had begun bombarding suspected positions of the PKK prior to sending in the ground forces, according to a statement on Monday. Jet fighters hit bases and destroyed caves where the PKK was hiding out, it said.

The PKK, which has battled for political autonomy for Turkey’s Kurds for four decades at the cost of almost 40,000 lives, is labelled as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Ahval

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