ANKARA

Turkey carried out a pre-emptive strike against elements of PKK terror group in northern Iraq as part of the second phase of the Operation Claw-Eagle, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

A ministry statement said the terror elements were targeted in Gara region to prevent their efforts to re-establish their positions used to carry out terror attacks against Turkey.

The second phase of the Operation Claw-Eagle is in line with the right of self-defense arising from international law, in order to neutralize the PKK/KCK and other terrorist elements, the ministry added.

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

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 Ahmet Gencturk in Ankara

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