Turkish army has dealt a heavy blow to the PKK and the illegal group has been experiencing “serious failure” following Turkey’s “decisive fight,” National Defense Minister HulusiAkarhas said.
“The terror group [PKK] is experiencing serious failure following our decisive fight. Their terror activities have been largely restrained. Hopefully, we will come to a position to completely neutralize them,” HulusiAkar was quoted as saying on Dec. 14 during a ceremony in the capital Ankara.
Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Akar said the counter-terror efforts were “necessary and obligatory” for Turkey’s security.
He also stressed the importance of protecting Turkey’s rights in Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.
“We will continue to protect our rights and benefits in Aegean, in the Eastern Mediterranean and in ‘blue homeland’,” he added.
Turkey conducted airstrikes in Sinjar and Mount Karajak regions of northern Iraq late Dec. 13, with officials emphasizing that such operations will continue.
Iraq summoned Turkish ambassador in Baghdad on Dec. 14 and criticized Turkey for the latest airstrikes upon which the Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Dec. 15 that the Turkish Armed Forces will continue its anti-terror operations in the Sinjar region as long as the PKK exists there.
In a statement, Hami Aksoy said the PKK has used Iraqi soil as a base to attack Turkey for many years. “As a result of these attacks, tens of thousands of our people were killed…Activities of PKK terror group on Iraqi and Syrian soils have been a national security issue for Turkey,” Aksoy said.
Meanwhile, the Turkish military “neutralized” 10 PKK militants in airstrikes carried out in northern Iraq, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Dec. 16.
In a Twitter post, the ministry said the airstrikes were carried out in Gara and Hakurk regions on Dec. 15 and 16.
The militants were plotting attack on Turkish bases, the statement said.
It added that shelters and caves belonging to the illegal group were also destroyed in the airstrikes.