Türkiye hit almost 90 YPG/PKK terrorist targets during air raids in northern regions of Iraq and Syria, the Defense Ministry said on Sunday, adding that a “successful operation” was carried out in the Qandil, Asos and Hakurk regions of northern Iraq and the Arab Spring, Tal Rifaat, Jazira and Derik regions of northern Syria.
“With the Operation Claw-Sword, 89 terrorist targets – 81 targets in the first stage and eight others this morning – including shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, ammunition depots and so-called headquarters and training camps belonging to terrorists, who threaten our country, nation and border security, were destroyed,” the ministry said in a statement.
The statement came after Türkiye early Sunday launched Operation Claw-Sword, a cross-border aerial campaign against the PKK terrorist group in northern Iraq and Syria. The ministry said the operation was carried out in line with the right of self-defense under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter.
“Among the terrorists neutralized in the air operation were the so-called leaders of the terrorist organization,” the ministry also said.
The operation came after last Sunday’s terrorist attack on Istanbul’s crowded Istiklal Street that killed at least six and left 81 injured.
It was carried out to eliminate the risk of terrorist attacks against Turkish people and security forces from the northern areas of Iraq and Syria, and to ensure Türkiye’s border security, the ministry said.
“After the operation, in which mostly domestic and national ammunition was used, all of our aircraft returned safely to their bases,” it added.
Türkiye will continue the fight against terrorism for the security of the country and nation with determination until the last terrorist is neutralized, the ministry stressed.
Earlier, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Türkiye will continue to call to account those who target its security.
“Our aim is to ensure the security of our 85 million citizens and our borders and to respond to any treacherous attack on our country,” Akar said.
He stressed that only terrorists and hideouts belonging to the terrorists were targeted, saying: “The claw of our Turkish Armed Forces was once again on the terrorists.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered the start of the air operation on his return from Indonesia, where he attended the G-20 summit this week.