Turkiye "neutralizes" 17 PKK members in Iraq, Syria

Turkiye "neutralizes" 17 PKK members in Iraq, Syria

Shafaq News / The Turkish Ministry of Defense announced, on Friday, the "neutralization" of 17 members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and northern Syria.

The term "neutralize" is commonly used by Turkish authorities to indicate that the terrorists either surrendered, killed, or captured during the military operations.

The ministry stated that "the Turkish army neutralized 10 PKK members in the areas of Hakurk, Gara, and the ongoing Claw-Lock operation in the Kurdistan Region."

It added that "Turkish forces neutralized seven PKK members in the Olive Branch and Peace Spring areas in northern Syria."

In recent years, Turkish forces, in cooperation with the Syrian National Army, have conducted operations such as Fırat Kalkanı (Euphrates Shield), Zeytin Dalı (Olive Branch), and Barış Pınarı (Peace Spring) in northern Syria against the ISIS and PKK/YPG organizations.

The PKK conflict, spanning four decades, has been a persistent challenge, with Ankara expressing disappointment in the Iraqi government's "historical reluctance" to acknowledge and ban the PKK as a terrorist organization.

However, recent developments have signaled a shift in Iraq's stance.

Following high-level talks between Turkish and Iraqi officials, Iraq announced the designation of the PKK as a "banned organization," aligning with Turkiye's concerns and paving the way for enhanced cooperation in combating terrorism.

In March 2024, Turkiye proposed the establishment of a "joint operation center" with Iraq to combat the PKK, a move that has received a positive response from Baghdad.

According to a Turkish defense ministry official, the proposal aims to enhance cooperation in addressing the PKK's activities along the Iraq-Turkiye border.

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