Two Turkish soldiers killed in northern Iraq
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
The ministry said in a statement that one soldier was martyred on Monday in a clash with terrorists as part of Operation Pençe-Yıldırım, while another one was wounded in a blast from an improvised explosive device (IED). He later on succumbed to his wounds in the hospital, the statement added.
"We wish Allah's mercy upon our heroic martyr, our condolences and patience to his precious family, the Turkish Armed Forces, and the nation," the ministry said in two separate statements.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in a statement on Twitter extended his condolences. "We bury you in our hearts, not in the ground. Homeland is grateful to you," he said.
So far, three Turkish soldiers have been killed in Operations Pençe-Şimşek and Pençe-Yıldırım.
A large number of weapons and ammunition was also seized by Turkish security forces during the two operations on Monday.
Additionally, Turkish security forces destroyed a cave used by PKK terrorists during the operations.
Turkey on Friday launched Operations Pençe-Şimşek and Pençe-Yıldırım in northern Iraq’s Metina and Avaşin-Basyan regions near Turkey’s borders, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced early Saturday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said later Saturday that the operation aims to completely eliminate the terrorist threat along Turkey’s southern borders.
Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in statements to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
The PKK terrorist group often uses bases in northern Iraq just across Turkey’s southern border to hide and plot terrorist attacks in Turkey.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.