SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday a military operation launched against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Kurdistan Region aimed to completely eliminate “terrorist threat” along Turkey’s southern borders.
The Turkish military has launched a new ground and air defensive against the PKK fighters in Duhok province.
Esta Media Network reporter Dilshad Himo said the Turkish army had set up three new military points in the villages of Hirure, Chalki and Kesta in Amedi district after Turkey’s warplanes bombed the area.
Clashes also erupted between Turkish troops and PKK fighters as they landed from military helicopters, he added.
“This operation, carried out with respect to Iraq’s territorial integrity, will contribute to the establishment of peace and security in the region,” Anadolu Agency quoted Erdogan as saying.
“We are determined to eradicate terrorism and completely free our citizens from the scourge of terror,” he added.
Erdogan further said there was no place for “separatist terrorist groups” in the future of Turkey, Iraq or Syria.
Turkish media reported that commando forces landed in the Metina region from helicopters while warplanes dropped bombs on suspected PKK positions.
In a televised speech, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said the operation began on Friday afternoon and involved commandos who were backed up by drones and attack helicopters.
“Heroic commandos of the heroic Turkish Armed Forces are in northern Iraq,” Turkey’s defense ministry said in a tweet without specifying how many soldiers were involved, according to AFP.
Turkey has conducted numerous ground and aerial cross-border offensives into neighboring northern Iraq to attack the PKK fighters, who maintains bases in the region.