“Turkey's only goal is to fight terrorism”
National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar speaks at a fast-breaking (iftar) dinner in Golcuk Navy Command in Turkey's northwestern Kocaeli province.
A total of 68 terrorists have been neutralized since April 23 as part of Turkey's Operations Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim, said the national defense minister on Tuesday.
Hulusi Akar said that Turkey respects the borders and sovereignty of all its neighbors, especially friendly and brotherly Iraq.
He went on to say: "Our only goal is to fight terrorism. Everyone should know that we are in the north of Iraq due to the terrorists nesting there."
Akar added that 953 terrorists have been neutralized in northern Iraq and Syria since January 1.
Turkey launched Operations Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim on April 23 in northern Iraq’s Metina and Avasin-Basyan regions near its borders.
The PKK terror group often uses bases in northern Iraq just across Turkey's southern border to hide and plot terror attacks in Turkey.