In the third Turkish air operation, 58 targets were destroyed and many PKK fighters were “neutralized”, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.
Turkey’s government announced on Wednesday that it had launched new airstrikes against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, for the third time since the attack in Ankara that injured two police officers on Sunday, and earlier threatened to retaliate against the of Kurdish fighters present in the Syrian north.
In the third Turkish air operation, 58 targets were destroyed and many PKK fighters were “neutralized” – the term usually means killed -, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.
Iraqi Defense Minister Thabet al-Abasi arrived in Ankara late last night, according to the Iraqi state news agency INA. He will hold talks today with his Turkish counterpart Yasar Guler, according to Turkish media.
Baghdad condemned the Turkish airstrikes, with Iraqi President Abdul-Latif Rashid saying he hoped a deal could be reached with Ankara to resolve the issue.
Yesterday afternoon, a meeting of co-competent ministers and officials on national security issues took place in Ankara. The ministers of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Interior, the Chief of the General Staff and the Chief of the Intelligence Service were present.
The perpetrators of Sunday’s attack in Ankara – both killed – had been trained in Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan assured earlier yesterday, threatening retaliation against Kurdish fighters present in both the Syrian and Iraqi north. It called all facilities belonging to the PKK and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) “legitimate targets”, including the area’s “energy” infrastructure.
“I advise all third parties to move away from locations and persons linked to the PKK and the YPG,” the head of Turkish diplomacy said.
Ankara labels the YPG, a US partner in the fight against Islamic State jihadists, a “terrorist” group and the Syrian arm of the PKK, which is also considered a “terrorist” organization by Turkey and its Western partners.
Mr. Fidan’s statements are probably an indication that soon there will be an intensification of Turkish attacks in Syria.
One of the alleged masterminds of the 2022 attack that killed six people in Istanbul was killed during a Turkish intelligence operation in northern Syria, Turkish media reported Wednesday.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that an “intelligence official” of the Kurdish Autonomous Administration of northeastern Syria was killed yesterday.
The leader of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, an alliance supported by Washington), Mazloum Abdi, denied yesterday that the perpetrators of the attack in the Turkish capital had been trained or had relations with the autonomous Kurdish administration in northern Syria.
“Turkey is looking for pretexts to legitimize its ongoing attacks against our region and launch a new military operation,” he discounted via social networking sites.
“The threat to target infrastructure, economic resources and populated cities (…) is a war crime, which we are already witnessing,” he added.
Ankara frequently launches drone strikes in Syria. Between 2016 and 2019, after all, it carried out three large-scale operations on Syrian soil against Kurdish armed groups and organizations.
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