Turkish Defense Ministry: Operation Claw-Lock to Eliminate 748 PKK/YPG Terrorists by Summer

Türkiye intensifies counterterrorism efforts, eliminating 748 PKK/YPG terrorists in Iraq and Syria since January 2024 as part of Operation Claw-Lock, aiming to secure its southern borders by summer.

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Turkish Defense Ministry: Operation Claw-Lock to Eliminate 748 PKK/YPG Terrorists by Summer

Turkish Defense Ministry: Operation Claw-Lock to Eliminate 748 PKK/YPG Terrorists by Summer

The Turkish Defense Ministry announced that Operation Claw-Lock, a counterterrorism effort to secure Türkiye's southern borders, will be finalized this summer. Since January 1, 2024, a total of 748 PKK/YPG terrorists have been eliminated in Iraq and Syria as part of this ongoing operation.

According to the ministry, 331 terrorists were neutralized in northern Iraq and 417 in north Syria. The term 'neutralize' indicates that the terrorists either surrendered, were killed, or were captured during the operation. In the last two weeks alone, 75 PKK/YPG members were neutralized in these regions.

Why this matters: Türkiye's long-standing fight against Kurdish militants, including the PKK, has escalated in recent months with airstrikes in northern Iraq. The PKK activities and Turkish strikes in the Kurdish region are likely to be a key topic of discussion during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's expected visit to Iraq.

Türkiye has been engaged in various cross-border operations since 2016 in northern Iraq and Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and facilitate the peaceful settlement of residents in the region. The PKK is designated a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States, and the European Union.

In addition to the counterterrorism efforts, Turkish authorities apprehended 373 people, including 11 members of illegal armed organizations, and prevented 4,784 people from illegally crossing the border since the beginning of the year. During the operations, approximately 45 kilograms of narcotics and 7 pistols were also seized.

The Turkish Defense Ministry stated, "The activities of the PKK in Iraq and Syria have become a national security issue for Turkey, and the operations against terrorism will continue as long as the terror organizations are present on Iraqi soil and Turkey's security needs require it." As Türkiye continues its fight against terrorism, the military remains committed to finalizing Operation Claw-Lock and securing the country's southern borders by the end of the summer.

Key Takeaways

  • Turkey's Operation Claw-Lock aims to secure its southern borders by summer 2023.
  • 748 PKK/YPG terrorists neutralized in Iraq and Syria since January 1, 2024.
  • Turkey's fight against Kurdish militants, including PKK, has escalated with airstrikes.
  • Turkey apprehended 373 people, including 11 members of illegal armed groups, since 2023.
  • Turkey seized 45 kg of narcotics and 7 pistols during the operations.