Turkish soldier killed by PKK terrorists in northern Iraq

A Turkish soldier was killed during a military operation against PKK terrorists in northern Iraq, the Defense Ministry said Sunday.

The soldier was killed on Saturday when an explosive device went off as he and other soldiers were passing near it.

That raises the number of Turkish troops killed to seven in the region since Tuesday.

Turkey has launched several operations in the area against PKK terrorists.

The PKK has training camps and bases in northern Iraq and has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, a conflict that has killed 40,000 people, many of them civilians.

Ankara has launched a series of operations against PKK fighters in Iraq and Syria, the latest one in northern Iraq beginning in April.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday that Turkey would soon launch a new military operation into northern Syria which he said was designed to create a 30-kilometer (19-mile) “security zone” along their border.

Turkish security forces also eliminated at least 18 PKK terrorists as part of Turkey’s Operation Claw-Lock in northern Iraq, the ministry said Saturday.

The ministry said the operation was carried out by combat drones in terror zones in the region, adding that Turkish forces are determined to continue fighting terrorists.

The ministry also shared footage of the anti-terror operation.

Turkey launched Operation Claw-Lock last month to target PKK hideouts in northern Iraq’s Metina, Zap and Avasin-Basyan regions. It 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 Turkey.

New domestic operation

Meanwhile, Turkish security forces have launched another counterterrorism operation in the country’s east, the Interior Ministry said Saturday.

The operation, Eren Abluka-13 (Muş-Şenyayla) Martyr Gendarmerie Lt. Ismail Moray, started in the Muş province with 565 security personnel, a ministry statement said.

The operation aims to completely eliminate terrorism in the country, it added.

On the first day of the operation, Turkish forces found six terrorist hideouts and 17 foxholes in Şenyayla in the Muş province.

Security forces also seized a large number of weapons, ammunition, food, survival supplies and organizational documents belonging to terrorists.

Turkey initiated the operations last year, naming them after Eren Bülbül, a 15-year-old boy killed by the PKK terrorist group on Aug. 11, 2017.

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