Turkish jets strike terror targets in northern Iraq, Syria

Turkish jets strike terror targets in northern Iraq, Syria

Turkish jets strike terror targets in northern Iraq, Syria

Türkiye conducted an aerial military campaign, “Operation Claw-Sword,” over northern regions of Syria and Iraq, the Turkish defense ministry said on Nov. 20, targeting PKK/YPG terror groups after last week’s bomb attack in Istanbul.

“Terrorists’ shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, and warehouses were successfully destroyed. We followed them closely. The so-called headquarters of the terrorist organization were also hit and destroyed,” Hulusi Akar said in his address to the operations center from the capital Ankara. The Turkish military will continue to “ask for the account,” he added.

“Only terrorists and hideouts belonging to them were targeted... The claw of our Turkish Armed Forces was once again on top of the terrorists,” Akar said. The minister was also seen in a video image briefing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who gave the order for the latest operation.

The Claw-Sword Air Operation conducted in northern Iraq and Syria, “which are used as bases for attacks against Türkiye by terrorists,” said the defense ministry and explained that the air strikes hit Qandil, Asos, and Hakurk regions in northern Iraq and regions of Ayn el-Arab, Tel Rifat, Jazira and Derik regions in northern Syria.

A total of 89 targets were destroyed and “many terrorists” including their senior executives were “neutralized” during the ongoing Claw-Sword Air Operation, and the Turkish warplanes returned to their bases safely, it noted.

“With the Operation Claw-Sword, 89 terror targets, 81 targets in the first stage and eight others this morning, including shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, ammunition depots, and so-called headquarters and training camps belonging to terrorists that threaten our country, nation and border security, were destroyed,” said the statement.

The defense ministry said the operation was carried out in line with the right of self-defense arising from Article 51 of the U.N. Charter.

The operation follows last Sunday’s terror attack on Istanbul’s crowded Istiklal Avenue that killed six people and left 81 injured. The Turkish police said the attack was carried out by the PKK/YPG terror organization.

During its more than 35-year terror campaign, the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the U.S. and the European Union, has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said Türkiye has the full sovereign right to eliminate any terrorist threat wherever it may come from. “Türkiye conducts its anti-terror operations in line with international law and will continue to do so with or without the support of its allies,” he tweeted.

Elaborating on the military campaign, İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener said, “I wish success to the Turkish army for the cross-border operation that started late at night… I hope everything will develop in accordance with the feelings of our nation, as we predicted. It is a difficult process.”