ANKARA – Turkey’s National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, along with high-level military officials, paid a visit on Saturday to Sirnak province to monitor anti-terror operations directed from the border province.

Akar reached the area of Operation Pence-Simsek for inspections, the National Defense Ministry said in a statement. He was accompanied by Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler and Land Forces Commander Gen. Umit Dundar.

Turkey launched Operations Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim on April 23 in northern Iraq’s Metina and Avasin-Basyan regions near Turkey’s borders.

The PKK terror group often uses bases in northern Iraq just across Turkey’s southern border to hide and plot terror attacks in Turkey.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

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