Ankara: Turkey’s military chief General Necdet Ozel on Wednesday threatened to launch an assault on the main base of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Qandil mountain region of northern Iraq, after series of attacks on military installments inside the country.
Clashes in recent months between Turkey’s armed forces and militants from the PKK – considered a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the United States and European Union – have been among the heaviest since the group took up arms 28 years ago.
Turkey has stepped up air operations on suspected PKK rebels in northern Iraq over the past year after an increase in PKK attacks, fuelling tensions between Ankara and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
In a rare interview given to Turkiye newspaper, the chief said that the military has the capability to launch a sustained operation against a Kurdish militant base in Iraq and believes that the group’s members are also receiving training in Syria and Iran.
“They are very well protected and frequently change location. We are working to render them ineffective,” Ozel said.
Asked whether the PKK had camps in Syria and Iran, Ozel said: “The terror organisation has terrorist groups in the countries you mention. Terrorists are educated in these camps.”