Turkish army “neutralized” four more PKK terrorists in northern Iraq, increasing the number of terrorists neutralized in Operation Claw to 68, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
Turkish security forces also destroyed weapon emplacements and shelters used by PKK terrorists in the Operation Claw-2 area, the ministry said in a statement.
Authorities often use the term “neutralized” in statements to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
The first Operation Claw, which was launched on May 27, aimed to prevent the infiltration of PKK terrorists onto Turkish soil from Hakurk and spoil their settlement plans in the area.
On Saturday, Turkey launched counter-terror Operation Claw-2 as a follow-up on the successfully ongoing Claw-1 operation which revealed new information on terrorist activity, according to the ministry.
The Hakurk region is among the main locations PKK terrorists use to infiltrate Turkey or attack Turkish border outposts. The area is located 30 to 40 kilometers south of the Derecik district of southeastern Hakkari province, bordering Iraq, and currently serves as the main base for terrorists between their headquarters in the Qandil mountains near the border with Iran and Turkey.
The Hakurk area facilitates terrorist crossings between Qandil and Iraq’s Salahuddin province that borders Syria, where the PKK’s Syrian offshoot, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), control large swathes of territory.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children.