Turkey has launched a new ground and air border offensive against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.
Turkish jets and artillery hit suspected targets of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and commandos – backed by helicopters and drones – then entered the area by land or by helicopter, Defense Minister Hulusi Akbar said in a video posted. Ministry website.
Acker said the jets successfully hit shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, ammunition depots and PKK headquarters. The group maintains bases in northern Iraq and has used the area to attack Turkey.
Turkey has conducted several cross-border air and ground operations against the PKK over the past few decades. The latest offensive, called Operation Clock Lock, focused on the areas of Matina, Zap and Avashin-Basian in northern Iraq.
There was no word on the number of troops or jets involved in the latest attack.
“Our heroic commandos and Maroon Barrett – assisted by helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles – reached the scene by land and air and captured the targets,” Aqar said in a second video. “Many terrorists have been deactivated.”
“At the moment we arrive, all the planned targets have been captured,” he said.
The Defense Ministry said the new offensive was launched after it was determined that the militants were regrouping and preparing for a “large-scale attack.”
The attack was carried out in coordination with “friends and allies” of Turkey, the ministry added, without elaborating. Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Prime Minister Masroor Barzani of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, who controls areas under attack.
The Turkish minister said the attack was aimed at “terrorists” and was showing “maximum sensitivity” to avoid damage to civilian and cultural and religious structures.
There was no immediate word from the Kurdish militant group.
The PKK, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, has killed thousands of people since the uprising began in 1984 in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeastern region.