ANKARA (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 23rd August, 2022) Turkey has eliminated a total of 2,517 militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), designated terrorist by Ankara, in northern Syria and Iraq since the beginning of 2022, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said.
"As a result of the operations conducted since July 24, 2015, a total of 35,786 terrorists have been neutralized. Since January 1, operations have been continuing intensively. During this period, a total of 2,517 terrorists were neutralized in northern Iraq and Syria," Akar said at a conference on national security on Monday.
Since April, Turkey has eliminated 333 PKK militants as part of the Claw-Lock operation in northern Iraq, the minister said, stressing that Ankara is successfully and determinedly fighting terrorism.
The minister reiterated the argument that Turkey respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the neighboring regions and seeks to ensure domestic security.
"Wherever the terrorists are, they are our target. We are determined to save our nation from the scourge of terrorism that has plagued us for 40 years," Akar said.
The Turkish government has been fighting the PKK, which wants to establish a Kurdish autonomy in Turkey, since the early 1980s. The PKK and Ankara signed a ceasefire agreement in 2013, but it collapsed just two years later over several terrorist attacks which Turkey blamed on the Kurds. Since then, the Turkish armed forces have been conducting air and ground operations against PKK bases located in northern Iraq.