PKK slaughtered 13 Turkish citizens in N Iraq, says Defense Minister Akar

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has successfully completed its four-day Operation Claw-Eagle 2 and cleared Gara region of Northern Iraq of PKK elements, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Feb. 14, adding that PKK terrorists killed 13 unarmed Turkish citizens that they were held hostage since 2015.

"A very special and crucial operation has been conducted. It was really important as it has taken place on a vast and very difficult terrain under difficult weather conditions. With the operation, all the [terror] elements that have been settled in this area and were preparing to attack our borders, security forces and people have almost been eliminated," Akar said, while briefing the results of the operation early Feb. 14 at a command center on the Turkish-Iraqi border.

He was accompanied by Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler, Land Forces Commander Gen. Ümit Dündar, Air Forces Commander Gen. Hasan Küçükakyüz, as well as Navy Forces Commander Adm. Adnan Özbal, and other senior military officials.

Operation Claw-Eagle 2 was launched on Feb. 10 with the participation of air and land forces in a bid to prevent the PKK from using the mountainous Gara region in Northern Iraq as a new launching pad for its attacks against Turkey.

More PKK elements were recently deployed to the area as they had to leave their headquarters in Northern Iraq as a result of an intensive military operation of the TSK in Haftanin, Hakurk and other provinces.

Following intensive aerial attacks that successfully hit more than 50 targets, including the regional headquarters of the PKK, the land operation has begun and three soldiers were killed and three others were wounded on the first day, Akar said.

"Throughout the operation 48 terrorists, three of whom...

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