Turkey announces new operation against PKK in eastern provinces

Turkey has launched a new phase of its operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in eastern regions of the country, the Interior Ministry announced on Friday, as it continues to squeeze the group in the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq.

The fifth phase of Operation Kiran, meaning “breaker,” targets PKK in the eastern provinces of Diyarbakir, Bingol and Mus. The operation was launched on August 17 in the southeastern provinces of Van, Hakkari, and Sirnak, and was followed by campaigns throughout the mainly Kurdish areas.

More than 2,500 personnel are taking part in the latest phase, the ministry stated, as reported by state-owned Anadolu Agency.

Turkey is simultaneously conducting operations against the PKK across the border in the Kurdistan Region where the Interior Ministry claimed they have “neutralized” over 400 PKK fighters in the last four months. The Turkish army uses “neutralized” when referring to fighters who were killed, captured, or who have surrendered. This Operation Claw was launched on May 27 and is now in the third phase, focused on Sinat and Haftanin in Duhok province.

Turkey has recently claimed to have killed a number of senior PKK officials. On Thursday, the Interior Ministry said that it had “neutralized” Numan Batman and Erhan Garzan Porsipi in an operation on July 19. The two were on the most-wanted list.