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Updated January 13th, 2024 at 17:38 IST

Turkey Hits Kurdish Targets In Iraq and Syria After 9 Soldiers Killed: 'We Will Fight To The End'

The Turkish fighter jets “destroyed caves, bunkers, shelters and oil facilities to eliminate terrorist attacks," Turkish Defense Ministry said.

Digital Desk
Turkey Erdogan Syria Iraq Strikes
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a press conference at the Nato summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. | Image:AP
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Turkey on Saturday, January 13, launched airstrikes in the neighbouring Iraq and Syria targeting the Kurdish militants just a day after the attack on a Turkish military base in Iraq killed nine Turkish Defense Forces soldiers. According to a statement published by the Turkish Defense Ministry , the strikes were carried out in the regions of Metina, Hakurk, Gara and Qandil in north Iraq. The regions in the Syria were not specified.

The Turkish fighter jets “destroyed caves, bunkers, shelters and oil facilities to eliminate terrorist attacks against our people and security forces, and to ensure our border security,” a statement from the Turkish Defense Ministry read. It added that the strikes neutralised “many militants.” On Friday, the Kurdish militia attempted to infiltrate a Turkish military base in northern Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Reports suggest that the Turkish military base was located on Mount Zap in Amedi district, approximately 17 kilometres (10 miles) from the Turkish border.

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As a result of the clashes, nine Turkish soldiers were dead. Of those, four died due to fatal injuries. Turkish defence ministry said it killed 15 militants in a retaliatory response. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan expressed his condolences for the deaths of the Turkish soldiers as he wrote on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, "We will fight to the end against the PKK terrorist organisation within and outside our borders."

Turkey slams US, UK for launching airstrikes on Iran backed Yemeni Houthis 

Turkey often launched strikes on the militants affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK whom it accuses of waging insurgency against Turkey since the 1980s and blames for the 2016 failed coup.  Turkey launched Operation Claw-Lock in northern Iraq in April 2022 to fight the Kurdish militia. It established several bases in Duhok Governorate. Iraq has protested the presence of the Turkish troops on its soil, demanding a withdrawal.

Turkish strikes in Iraq and Syria come in the backdrop of the US and the UK launching the airstrikes on the Iran backed Yemeni Houthis in the Capital Sanaa and other regions due to attacks on the commercial vessels in the Red Sea. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan condemned the US ans UK strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen, slamming the “disproportionate use of force.” Erdogan accused the US and the UK of turning the Red Sea into a "sea of blood.”

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Published January 13th, 2024 at 17:38 IST

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