ANKARA

Turkish security forces have neutralized 320 terrorists in the ongoing Operation Claw-Tiger in northern Iraq, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

In a statement, the ministry said search and screening activities part of Operation Claw-Tiger have been completed in northern Iraq.

As part of the operation, launched in Haftanin region on June 16, Turkish commandos carried out intensive search and screening activities backed by air support, the ministry said.

The operation has progressed successfully as planned, it added.

Turkish forces seized and destroyed weapons, ammunition, and other materials from 269 shelters and 53 caves in Haftanin region.

These included 265 improvised explosive devices, 11 mines, four mortars, 10 RPG-7 rocket launchers with 238 rounds, 125 hand grenades, a drone, 26 heavy weapons with 22,331 rounds of ammunition, 143 light weapons with 27,693 rounds of ammunition, 8 AT-4 anti-tank missiles, 244 artillery and mortar rounds, four suits to hide from thermal cameras, and six radios, according to the statement.

Turkey’s Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle operations were launched in June to ensure the safety of the Turkish people and borders by neutralizing the threat of PKK and other terrorist groups that often use northern Iraq to plan cross-border attacks.

Turkish authorities use the term “neutralize” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

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

*Writing by Handan Kazanci

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