Turkey sends special forces into northern Iraq
Turkey has deployed special forces in northern Iraq in an operation against Kurdish rebels backed by air and artillery support.
Turkish Defence Ministry announced this on Wednesday June 17, 2020.
According to the ministry, warplanes struck more than 150 Kurdish targets in northern Iraq's Haftanin region, which is about 9 miles from the Turkish border.
"Our heroic commandos are in Haftanin dubbing the new operation 'Claw Tiger'. Our commandos – who are supported by combat helicopters and drones – have been transported by our air force," the defence ministry said.
The ministry justified launching the operation against the Kurdistan Workers' Party for the second time in recent days, saying it was because of "a recent upsurge in attacks on our police stations and military bases" near the Iraqi border.
PKK or northern Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region reacted immediately in response to the operation.
The move is likely to have a friction between Baghdad and Ankara as this second operation named was launched against PKK targets.
The ministry said the recent "Claw-Tiger" operation was launched "in order to neutralise the PKK and other terrorist elements threatening our people and borders. Our air force have mobilised to the region with air operations".
The PKK, tagged as a "terrorist" group by Turkey, the United States and European Union, took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984 with the goal of creating an independent Kurdish nation.
So far, the conflict in southeast Turkey has caused more than 40,000 deaths.