Turkish army jets

Turkish Army bombs 150 PKK targets in Iraq

Turkish commandos entered northern Iraq today supported by artillery fire, fighters, helicopters and drones, after the terrorist group increased its attacks in Turkey.

The Turkish Defense Ministry confirmed on Wednesday that the Turkish army had bombarded 150 PKK targets in northern Iraq prior to the start of an air offensive against terrorist group positions in the Haftanin region, bordering the Turkish province of Şırnak, as part of the new operation named Pençe-Kaplan (Claw-Tiger).

In a statement via its Twitter account, the ministry reported that the targets had been attacked with intense artillery fire and that the operation was continuing as planned, with the aim of neutralising the presence of the PKK and other terrorist elements in the region that threaten Turkey’s border and security.

“Operation Claw-Tiger is being carried out as part of our legitimate rights of defense assisted by international laws, directed against the PKK and other terrorist elements that have recently tried to increase their harassment and attacks against our bases and police stations” said the statement.

As part of the operation, following artillery shelling, Special Forces commandos supported by F-16 jets, ATAK combat helicopters, and military and air surveillance drones have entered the mountainous areas of northern Iraq bordering with southeast Turkey, where the PKK has its main bases.

7 workers killed by the PKK in the last two months

Operation Claw-Tiger was launched just a few days after Operation Pençe-Kartal (Claw-Eagle) began on June 15, in which Turkish army jets destroyed several caves in the mountains of northern Iraq, used by the PKK to hide weapons and ammunition; the attacks were directed against targets of the terrorist group in the Sinjar, Qandil, Karacak, Zap, Avaşin-Basyan and Hakurk areas.

Since announcing the start of its armed struggle to achieve its political objectives in 1984, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) -included in the EU list of international terrorist organisations- has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, many of them civilians. Between April and May alone, at least 7 workers were killed by the PKK in attacks in the Diyarbakır and Van provinces.