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Türkiye claims success against Kurdish fighters — RT World News


Ankara has stepped up its cross-border campaign in Iraq against militias, after blaming them for a deadly attack in Istanbul

Turkish forces “neutralized” three members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq, the Ministry of Defense announced on Tuesday. Ankara considers the PKK a terrorist organization and has stepped up its military operation against the group following a bomb attack in Istanbul last month that killed six people.

“Three PKK terrorists have been neutralized in the Gara region of northern Iraq”, the ministry said on Twitter, adding “Our operations will continue until the last terrorist is neutralized.”

The tweet included video of a Turkish Bayraktar attack drone dropping a bomb, although it is unclear if such munitions were used to fight the suspected terrorists. Türkiye uses the term “neutralized”, whether the fighters have been killed or captured.

The strike in Iraq came a day after a Turkish soldier was killed in an attack on a military base, according to an earlier report by the Turkish Defense Ministry.

Turkey launched a massive air operation against the PKK and its Syrian branch, the YPG, in late November after a bomb attack killed six people in Istanbul and injured more than 80 others. Ankara blamed the attack on “PKK/YPG Terrorists” and carried out airstrikes in northern Iraq and Syria in response, naming its offensive “Operation Claw Sword”.

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“Terrorists’ shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels and warehouses have been successfully destroyed” in airstrikes, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said later. His ministry later said 89 targets had been hit, while Kurdish authorities said two villages populated by civilians had been destroyed.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the airstrikes were “just the beginning,” and that a ground offensive would follow.

The PKK and the YPG deny any involvement in the Istanbul attack.

Turkey has been waging a low-intensity war against Kurdish militias along its Syrian and Iraqi borders for four decades, in a back-and-forth campaign that has claimed the lives of nearly 40,000 people in Turkey.

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