24-05-2021 09:18:32

“124 terrorists neutralized in North Iraq”

National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar addresses at the Sedef shipyard in Istanbul on Sunday.

Turkish forces have neutralized 124 PKK terrorists amid ongoing operations in northern Iraq, Turkey's national defense minister said.

Turkey launched Operations Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim last month in the Metina and Avasin-Basyan regions in northern Iraq.

In 2021, a total of 1,107 terrorists have been neutralized so far, Hulusi Akar said. "Turkish forces continue to destroy lairs of the terrorists. Turkish soldiers are checking all the caves, streams, and hills there, one by one," Akar added.

The terrorist group PKK often uses bases in northern Iraq, just across Turkey's southern border, to hide out and plot terror attacks in Turkey.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

Peaceful resolution with int'l law

Speaking about the current issues in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, as well as Cyprus, Akar said: "We're in favor of the peaceful resolution of these problems within the framework of international law and good neighborly relations by talking and negotiating with our Greek neighbors."

However, he added, "Our Greek neighbors are doing their best to sabotage the positive state of affairs with their actions and discourse."

It would be impossible for the two sides to make any progress with these "provocations," Akar noted.