Turkey claims it hit nearly 500 Kurdish 'targets' in Iraq and Syria

Turkey claims it hit nearly 500 Kurdish 'targets' in Iraq and Syria
Turkey's defence minister said on Wednesday that Ankara had hit almost 500 Kurdish 'targets' across its operations in Iraq and Syria - which escalated over the past week following a bomb attack in Istanbul.
2 min read
23 November, 2022
Turkish airstrikes hit several towns across northern Syria and Iraq on the weekend [source: Getty]

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday that Turkey's military had hit nearly 500 Kurdish targets across Iraq and Syria as part of a campaign of air strikes.

"So far 471 targets have been struck and 254 terrorists were neutralised in the operation," Akar was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency.

Ankara began the series of air strikes as part of Operation Claw-Sword on Sunday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday threatened to launch a ground operation into Syria "with tanks and soldiers" in defiance of international pressure not to do so.

Live Story

Turkey's air raids followed a bombing in Istanbul on November 13 that killed six people and wounded 81.

Turkey blamed the attack on the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is blacklisted as a terror group by the European Union and the United States.

The PKK, which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, denied any role in the bombing - the deadliest in five years after a spate of attacks in Turkey between 2015 and 2017.

On Tuesday, Turkey's president - again - hinted at a possible new ground offensive in Syria against Kurdish militants.

Ankara is keen to stamp out branches of the YPG (People's Defence Unit), which it believes is linked to the PKK. The US and other Western states partnered with the YPG to fight the Islamic State group.