Turkey launches new operation in Northern Iraq

The Turkish army launched a new ground and air offensive against the PKK in Northern Iraq on April 24. Turkish television showed images of soldiers jumping from helicopters and firing guns.

Duvar English 

The Turkish army on April 24 launched a new ground and air operation against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. 

"The heroic Turkish Armed Forces' heroic commandos are in Northern Iraq," tweeted the Turkish Defense Ministry. 

Commando forces landed in the Metina, Zap and Avaşin-Basyan regions from helicopters, Turkish media outlets said. 

Speaking to military commanders through a videolink, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the operation "will contribute to the establishment of peace and security in the region.” He dubbed the new operation "Operation Claw-Lightning and Claw-Thunderbolt."

The Turkish army regularly conducts ground operations and air raids on PKK bases in Northern Iraq.

Turkey has established a number of military outposts inside Iraqi territory in the Kurdistan Region since the mid-1990s to fight the PKK, increasing its cross-border footprint in recent years. Since June 2020, Turkey has launched three major air and ground operations, establishing new outposts deep inside the Kurdistan Region.

Baghdad has lodged formal protests on a number of occasions about violations of its territory by Turkish forces and aircraft, but to no avail and in recent years, Ankara has stepped up its airstrikes in the Kurdistan Region, killing top operatives of the PKK.