Turkey's military "neutralizes" 25 PKK fighters in Iraq, Syria: Minister

Turkey's military "neutralizes" 25 PKK fighters in Iraq, Syria: Minister

Shafaq News/ Turkey's military has "neutralized" 25 fighters affiliated with the anti-Ankara Kurdistan's Workers Party (PKK) in a series of attacks in Iraq and Syria, Defense Minister Yasar Guler revealed on Sunday.

Turkey typically uses the term "neutralised" to mean killed.

Guler said in a post on X that 12 PKK fighters were "neutralized" in the latest series airstrikes in northern Syria and Iraq. With 13 others "neutralized" in operations on Saturday, the minister vowed that his country will not cease its military activity against the PKK until purging the entire region, "regardless who backs them."

On Saturday, the defence ministry said that 12 Turkish soldiers had been killed in the past two days in clashes with PKK militants in northern Iraq.

Later, Turkish air force conducted air strikes in northern Iraq and Syria and destroyed 29 targets of the outlawed PKK.

The Defense Ministry said the operations were conducted at 10 p.m. (1900 GMT) and the targets included bases, shelters, and oil facilities believed to be used by PKK militants.

The ministry also said seven militants had been killed on Friday.

The Turkish Armed Forces have been conducting cross-border military operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party in Northern Iraq since the 1980s.

In July 2015, a two-and-a-half year long ceasefire broke down, and the conflict between Ankara and militants of the PKK – recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union – entered one of its deadliest chapters in nearly four decades.

Since that date, the conflict has progressed through several phases. Between roughly 2015-2017 the violence devastated communities in some urban centers of Turkey's majority-Kurdish south east and – at times – struck into the heart of the country's largest metropolitan centers. From 2017 onward, the fighting moved into rural areas of Turkey's south east.

As the Turkish military pushed more militants out of Turkey, by 2019 the conflict's concentration shifted to northern Iraq and northern Syria.

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