Turkish security forces have “neutralised” 56 terrorists in the recently launched Operation Claw-Lock in northern Iraq, the country’s National Defence Ministry said, and Anadolu News Agency reports.
“Our operation continues as planned, with great success. We wish God’s mercy upon our martyrs,” said National Defence Minister, Hulusi Akar, at a meeting via video link with the unit commanders of the operation on Sunday.
Akar added that the first phase of the operation has completed successfully.
Stating that a new phase started in the fight against terrorism on 24 July, 2015, Akar said a total of 34,259 terrorists have been neutralised in Turkiye, and northern Iraq and Syria, so far.
Since the beginning of this year, the number of terrorists neutralised has reached 991, he added.
Turkiye launched Operation Claw-Lock earlier this week to target PKK hideouts in Iraq’s Metina, Zap and Avasin-Basyan areas.
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That was preceded by Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle, which were launched in 2020 to root out terrorists who hide in northern Iraq and plot cross-border attacks in Turkiye.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkiye, the US, and European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
In a related development, Turkiye’s Chief of General Staff, Gen. Yasar Guler, met with his Albanian counterpart, Maj. Gen. Bajram Begaj, in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Monday.
They discussed bilateral relations in the military field as well as the latest developments in the region during the meeting.