Members of the Kurdish peshmerga forces gather in the town of Sinjar, Iraq. File photo/ Reuters
Turkey’s Defence Ministry said on Saturday a total of 43 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) had been “neutralised” so far as part of an operation Ankara launched in northern Iraq 13 days ago.
The Turkish military launched what it dubbed “Operation Claw” in northern Iraq’s Hakurk region, on June 27 with artillery and air strikes followed by operations by commando brigades.
The PKK militant group is based in northern Iraq, notably in the Qandil region to the south of Hakurk. Ankara said the operation aimed to destroy shelters and caves used by the PKK and “neutralise” its members - a term it commonly uses to refer to deaths, but also to those wounded or captured.
“43 PKK terrorists have been neutralised as part of Operation Claw, which has continued successfully for 13 days in the Hakurk region of northern Iraq,” the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
It said 53 mines and improvised explosive devices had been destroyed and 74 caves and shelters used by the PKK were made unusable, adding that it had also seized weapons and ammunition belonging to the militants.
Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has said the operation would continue in the region until “the last terrorist is neutralized.”
The PKK insurgency in mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey began in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict. It is designated a terrorist group by Ankara, the European Union and United States.
Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest in parliament, has said such operations created crises and that tens of similar operations in the past had not created a solution.
Separately, two PKK members, one of whom was on Turkey’s wanted list, were “neutralised” in Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakir province, the Interior Ministry said.
Another PKK member was arrested in Diyarbakir at a traffic checkpoint, the local gendarmarie said.
The Turkish vice consul to Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region was among at least two people shot dead Wednesday in the regional capital Arbil, police sources said.
Iraqi Kurdish authorities announced on Saturday they had arrested two suspects involved in the murder of three people, including a Turkish diplomat, in the regional capital Arbil this week.
Images in Turkish media showed a smiling Ozil and model fiancee Amine Gulse, sitting at a table on either side of Erdogan at the Ottoman-era Dolmabahce Palace.
Saied was on 19 per cent, leading imprisoned media magnate Nabil Karoui, who was on 14.9 per cent, and ahead of the candidate from the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party Abdelfattah
The Department of Community Development Abu Dhabi will be organising an event to give licence to 18 non-Muslim places of worship, on Sept.22, 2019, at the Emirates Palace Hotel.
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed in a phone call to Saudi Crown Prince has said that the UAE stands with Saudi Arabia in confronting all menacing threats to its security and stability.