Turkish warplanes ‘neutralises’ 23 Kurdish militants in Iraq

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As per the Turkish Defense Ministry, Turkish warplanes “neutralised” 23 Kurdish militants who were killed during 140 kilometres (90 miles) in Iraq.

Whenever a militant is killed, the ministry uses the term “neutralised.” It further stated that more causalities are anticipated to be sustained during the expedition in the Asos region of northern Iraq, which is governed by the independent Kurdistan Regional Government. 

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The Defence Minister, Hulusi Akar, in a statement on Thursday, said that airstrikes had hit 16 targets in the Asos region.

Since 2019, Turkey has carried out several operations in northern Iraq, claiming that the military is targeting the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, to restrain it from launching assaults across the border into Turkey, PTI reported.

A joint effort, “Operation Claw-Lock,” between ground and air forces, was started in April. Since 1984, the PKK has been engaged in an intermittent insurgency against the Turkish government, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people. 

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Turkey, along with the United States and the European Union, has designated the group as a “terrorist” organisation. In response to the death of a Turkish police officer in a missile assault on Sunday, the defence ministry later claimed that seven terrorists have been neutralised in northern Syria.

As per official claims, Kurdish militants from the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, attacked a Turkish base close to Al Bab.

Despite having ties to the PKK and participating in the US-led campaign against the Islamic State, the YPG has not been regarded as a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union till now.

(With inputs from agencies)

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