53 PKK elements, 7 Turkish soldiers killed in northern Iraq

TEHRAN, May 03 (MNA) – Turkish Defense Minister said that during the past 10 days since the start of the Turkish military's new operation in northern Iraq, as many as 53 PKK elements and 7 Turkish soldiers have been killed in the clashes.

Hulusi Akar made the remarks on a visit to the Turkish Air Operations Command in the northwest of the country amid ongoing clashes with the PKK terrorist group in northern Iraq.

Akar said that 53 PKK elements and 7 Turkish soldiers have been killed in the past 10 days since the new military operation against PKK started in northern Iraq.

Yesterday, the Turkish Defense Minister along with the Chief of General Staff and Commander of the Turkish Army, visited the Joint Command Headquarters for the ongoing military operations in northern Iraq in Dohuk province

Iraqi sources say that the Turkish Defense Minister entered Iraq in blatant violation of Iraq's national sovereignty, as it was done without asking for permission from Baghdad.

Iraqi Kurdish-language media also say that Turkey is trying to repeat the Syrian scenario in northern Iraq and is using the existence of "PKK" elements as an excuse.

The Turkish army began its new military operation dubbed “Operation Claw-Lightning” against the PKK in northern Iraq on April 23.

This is the second large-scale Turkish military operation in northern Iraq in less than three months and the fourth in a year.

Meanwhile, members of parliament, the media, social media activists and political commentators have recently increased their criticism of Baghdad and Erbil's silence on the ongoing operation in northern Iraq.

KI/IRN84317493

News Code 172955

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