SIRNAK, Turkey

Turkey’s national defense minister and top commanders on Friday arrived at a base on the northern Iraqi border serving as a hub for a counter-terrorist operation. 

At the base, Hulusi Akar and Turkish commanders are set to dispatch, manage, and follow up forces fighting Operation Claw-Tiger.

Akar arrived via an airport in Cizre in Sirnak, southeastern Turkey, along with Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler, Land Forces Commander Gen. Umit Dundar, Air Forces Commander Gen. Hasan Kucukakyuz, and Naval Forces Commander Adnan Ozbal.

Using military helicopters, Akar and his commanders visited the infantry division commander and held meetings with the commanders of the troops along the border.

Operation Claw-Tiger was launched this Wednesday to ensure the safety of the Turkish people and borders by neutralizing the PKK and other terrorist groups that have been stepping up efforts to harass and attack the police and military bases.

Northern Iraq – the focus of the operation – is often used by PKK terrorists as a base to plan cross-border attacks in Turkey.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

*Writing by Dilara Hamit

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