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Turkey has launched a new cross-border ground and air offensive against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq

Turkish fighter jets and artillery struck targets belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, before commandos – backed by helicopters and drones – entered the nearby region by land or were transported by helicopter, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in a video posted on the site. the ministry’s website.

Akar said the jets “succeeded” in hitting shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, ammunition depots and headquarters belonging to the PKK. The group maintains bases in northern Iraq and has used the territory for attacks against Turkey.

Turkey has conducted numerous cross-border air and ground operations against the PKK over the past decades. The latest offensive has focused on the Metina, Zap and Avashin-Basyan regions of northern Iraq, Akar said.

“Our operation is continuing successfully, as planned. The objectives set for the first phase have been achieved,” said Akar.

There was no information on the number of soldiers and aircraft involved in the latest incursion.

“We are determined to save our noble nation from the terrorist misfortune that has plagued our country for 40 years,” Akar said. “Our fight will continue until the last terrorist is neutralized.”

The minister said the incursion was targeting “terrorists” and “maximum sensitivity” was being shown to avoid causing harm to civilians and cultural and religious structures.

There was no immediate statement from the Kurdish militant group.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed since the PKK, designated a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, launched an insurgency in the Kurdish-majority southeast region of Turkey in 1984.

ABC News

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