Turkey’s operation on Qandil Mountains is a matter of ‘timing’: Minister
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu (C) is seen in this Anadolu Agency photo with the newly graduated ‘night watchmen’ in Ankara on June 4.
The Turkish military is waiting for the right time to carry out an operation in northern Iraq’s mountainous Qandil region where high-ranking members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are hiding, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on June 4.
“Qandil is not a distant target for us anymore. Right now, a lot of positions have been seized there [by Turkish forces], especially in the northern Iraq region,” Soylu told the state-run Anadolu Agency in a televised interview.
“Timing is what is important for us right now… Qandil will be made a safe place for Turkey, no one should doubt that,” he added.
The militant group frequently carries out attacks on Turkey from its camps in the Qandil Mountains, a remote region of Kurdish-run northern Iraq.
In response, Turkey has been conducting land control operations inside northern Iraq territory near the border since March.
Turkey has also conducted frequent air strikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq. It previously carried out cross-border operations in the region in the 1990s and 2000s.
The PKK has waged an insurgency in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast since the 1980s and some 40,000 people have been killed in clashes.
It is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.