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Türkiye vows further strikes against bloody-minded PKK terrorists in Iraq and Syria

Ankara has declared its intention to continue targeting suspected locations of the terrorist organization PKK in Iraq and northern Syria, following the recent attack that resulted in nine Turkish soldiers being martyred at a base in Iraq. According to the presidential sources, their efforts will persist until all remaining terrorists are eliminated and the terror-infested areas of Iraq and Syria are purged.

Agencies and A News ANTI-TERROR FIGHT
Published January 13,2024

Following a security meeting of top officials, Türkiye on Saturday reaffirmed its resolve in fighting terrorism after nine Turkish soldiers were killed in an attack in northern Iraq.

"This struggle will continue until the last terrorist is neutralized and the terrorist swamps in Iraq and Syria are completely drained," the country's Communications Directorate said in a statement on the outcome of the meeting, held in Istanbul under the chairmanship of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

As many as 45 PKK terrorists were "neutralized" in an ongoing offensive in Iraq and Syria's north, the office said, using a term often used to refer to terrorists killed or captured.

The PKK carried out a terrorist attack on a military base in Iraq's north late Friday, leaving at least nine Turkish soldiers martyred and wounding four others, according to the Defence Ministry in Ankara.

Turkish retaliatory airstrikes then hit suspected PKK shelters and oil facilities, the ministry said on the social media platform X.

Friday's clash with the PKK was the second deadliest in three weeks in an area where Ankara had launched a ground and air operation in 2022.

Overnight, a total of 113 suspects accused of PKK links were detained in raids across 32 Turkish cities and provinces, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said on X.

During the meeting, Türkiye's counter-terrorism strategies were evaluated and steps to be taken after the "treacherous" attack on Friday by PKK terrorists in Türkiye's Operation Claw-Lock zone in northern Iraq were discussed, said the statement.

Türkiye launched Operation Claw-Lock in April 2022 to target the PKK terror organization's hideouts in Iraq's northern Metina, Zap and Avasin-Basyan regions near the Turkish border. It was preceded by Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle launched in 2020 to root out terrorists hiding out in northern Iraq and plotting cross-border attacks in Türkiye.

The statement underlined that Türkiye "continues to fight against the PKK/YPG/KCK terrorist organization and its supporters with persistence and determination" under a strategy to prevent and destroy threats to the country's survival at their source.

Türkiye will not, under any circumstances, allow the establishment of a terrorist state along its southern borders, it said, adding: "Within the framework of our right to self-defense and bilateral agreements, wherever there is a terrorist threat, camp, shelter, formation or cluster, it is our main priority to destroy it permanently, regardless of who is behind it."

The security meeting of top Turkish officials came to an end at the Dolmabahce Presidential Office in Istanbul.

Besides Erdoğan, the meeting included Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya, National Defense Minister Yaşar Güler, Chief of General Staff Metin Gürak, National Intelligence Organization (MIT) chief Ibrahim Kalın, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun and chief presidential adviser Akif Çağatay Kılıç.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.