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Turkey launches airstrikes to ‘destroy the caves used by Kurdish terrorists’ in northern Iraq

Turkey launches airstrikes to ‘destroy the caves and shelters used by Kurdish terrorists’ in northern Iraq – killing nine militants

  • The push began with artillery and air strikes on Monday afternoon, with commando joining in the evening
  • Defence ministry said operation targeted Iraq’s Hakurk region, across from Turkey, which also borders Iran 
  • Kurdistan Workers Party militant group is based in northern Iraq, notably in Qandil region to south of Hakurk 
  • Photos show shells fired by howitzers and soldiers perched on ridges, surveying the hillsides with their rifles

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Turkey’s military dropped commandos on mountain ridges in a new operation against Kurdish militants based over the border in northern Iraq, the defence ministry said on Tuesday.

The push began with artillery and air strikes on Monday afternoon, and the operation by commando brigades began in the evening, according to a ministry statement.

It said the operation targeted Iraq’s Hakurk region, just across the border from Turkey’s southeastern tip, which also borders Iran. 

Turkish Firtina (Storm) howitzers launched rockets to hit PKK terrorists positions as Turkish Armed Forces launched a counter-terrorism operation in Hakurk, northern Iraq, yesterday

The push began with artillery and air strikes on Monday afternoon - and the operation by commando brigades (pictured) began in the evening

The push began with artillery and air strikes on Monday afternoon – and the operation by commando brigades (pictured) began in the evening

The defence ministry said the operation targeted Iraq's Hakurk region, just across the border from Turkey's southeastern tip, which also borders Iran

The defence ministry said the operation targeted Iraq’s Hakurk region, just across the border from Turkey’s southeastern tip, which also borders Iran

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group is based in northern Iraq, notably in the Qandil region to the south of Hakurk.

‘With this operation, the aim is to destroy the caves and shelters used by the terrorist organisation and neutralise terrorists in the Hakurk region,’ the ministry said.

Video published by the ministry showed helicopters landing commandos on mountainous terrain. 

It also shared photos showing shells fired by howitzers and soldiers perched on ridges, surveying hillsides with their rifles.

While the operation (pictured) continues, the defence ministry said: 'With this operation, the aim is to destroy the caves and shelters used by the terrorist organisation and neutralise terrorists in the Hakurk region'

While the operation (pictured) continues, the defence ministry said: ‘With this operation, the aim is to destroy the caves and shelters used by the terrorist organisation and neutralise terrorists in the Hakurk region’ 

Turkish Firtina (Storm) howitzers launched to hit PKK terrorists positions

Turkish commandos blend into the rocky terrain

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group is based in northern Iraq, notably in the Qandil region to the south of Hakurk. Pictured: Turkish Firtina (Storm) howitzers launched to hit PKK terrorists positions (left) and Turkish commandos blend into the rocky terrain (right)

'The operation, with the support of our attack helicopters, is continuing as planned,' the statement said. The military frequently launches air strikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq but ground operations are less common

‘The operation, with the support of our attack helicopters, is continuing as planned,’ the statement said. The military frequently launches air strikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq but ground operations are less common

Video published by the ministry showed helicopters landing commandos on mountainous terrain (pictured). It also shared photos showing shells fired by howitzers and soldiers perched on ridges, surveying hillsides with their rifles

Video published by the ministry showed helicopters landing commandos on mountainous terrain (pictured). It also shared photos showing shells fired by howitzers and soldiers perched on ridges, surveying hillsides with their rifles 

‘The operation, with the support of our attack helicopters, is continuing as planned,’ the statement said. The military frequently launches air strikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq but ground operations are less common.

Nine militants had been ‘neutralised’ so far in the operation, the ministry said later in the day, using a term to refer to deaths, injuries or captures.

It added that shelters and ammunition depots were also struck in air strikes in Qandil and Zap, another nearby region.

Turkish Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar (centre) and Commander of the Turkish Land Forces Yasar Guler (centre left) sit next to other commanders as they conduct the operation during night time in Ankara, Turkey

Turkish Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar (centre) and Commander of the Turkish Land Forces Yasar Guler (centre left) sit next to other commanders as they conduct the operation during night time in Ankara, Turkey

Nine militants had been 'neutralised' so far in the operation, the ministry said later in the day, using a term to refer to deaths, injuries or captures

Nine militants had been ‘neutralised’ so far in the operation, the ministry said later in the day, using a term to refer to deaths, injuries or captures

Chief of General Staff Akar stops to eat as another commander drinks from a mug during the pre-dawn meal of sahur, the last food before a long day of fasting, in Ankara

Chief of General Staff Akar stops to eat as another commander drinks from a mug during the pre-dawn meal of sahur, the last food before a long day of fasting, in Ankara

The PKK launched an insurgency in mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey 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.

There was no comment from the PKK on the operation.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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