Turkish intel eliminates so-called high-level PKK member in Iraq

The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) has eliminated another high-ranking member of the PKK in Iraq’s Sulaymaniyah, security sources said.

According to sources who spoke to Anadolu Agency (AA), Hüseyin Şibli, code-named Ferhat Derik, was appointed to Iraq by the PKK’s so-called Qandil administration. The sources indicated that the terrorist organization aimed to create a new terror structure in Iraq.

They said that the terrorist, who was eliminated in an operation 275 kilometers (170 miles) from the Turkey-Iraq border, was a figure close to one of the YPG/PKK’s ringleaders, Ferhat Abdi Şahin.

Şibli, who was Syrian, joined the PKK when the organization’s so-called leader Abdullah Öcalan was in Syria. He was active in Syria’s Aleppo as well as northern Iraq’s Gara and Qandil.

Qandil became the PKK’s main headquarters in the 1990s after it used the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon as training grounds for many years.

Turkey has long been stressing that it will not tolerate terrorist threats posed against its national security and has called on Iraqi officials to take the necessary steps to eliminate the terrorist group. Ankara previously noted that if the expected steps were not taken, it would not shy away from targeting terrorist threats.

Within this scope, Turkish security forces killed nine PKK terrorists near the Turkish border in northern Iraq, authorities said on Saturday.

The terrorists were targeted in the Operation Claw-Lock zone, the Defense Ministry said on Twitter.

Turkey launched Operation Claw-Lock in April to target the PKK terror organization’s hideouts in Iraq’s northern Metina, Zap, and Avashin-Basyan regions near the Turkish border.

It was preceded by Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle, which were launched in 2020 to root out terrorists hiding in northern Iraq and plotting cross-border attacks in Turkey.

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