Erdogan vows to expand military operations against the PKK and stay in the areas his forces entered and attack his critics

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Ankara will expand the scope of its military operations against the militants of the “Kurdistan Workers Party” organization in the next stage to areas that pose a threat to the country.

The Turkish Anadolu news Agency quoted him as saying that “Turkish forces will remain in the areas they entered and have achieved security in order to avoid any terrorist attack similar to the Gara massacre, as required by necessity”.

He said, “We will expand the scope of our military operations against terrorists in the coming stage to areas that pose a threat to us”.

He added, “Gara is important, and it was problematic, and it fell, and God willing, it is over”.

On Sunday, Turkish forces found the bodies of 13 citizens when they raided a cave of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the Gara region in northern Iraq.

It should be noted that the “PKK” is classified as a terrorist organization in Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

According to Turkish data, during the organization’s activities that have been going on for more than 30 years, the organization has killed about 40,000 people.

The Turkish army has launched raids and security operations targeting the sites of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the southeast of the country and northern Iraq since July of 2015, when the organization resumed its rebellion and attacks against security and army personnel after a two-year ceasefire.

Erdogan slammed critics of his country’s military operations on Monday, a day after the military announced the killing of 13 Turkish citizens at the hands of Kurdish militants.

In a speech in the state of Rize on the Black Sea, Erdogan said that after the “bloodbath” that took place in northern Iraq at the hands of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), no individual or state had the right to “question, criticize, or oppose Turkey’s operations in Iraq and Syria.”

On Monday, Erdogan called on the West to stop supporting the “Kurdistan Workers Party” organization, and Erdogan directed his speech to the United States, saying: “If you want to continue the alliance relations with Turkey at the level of the international community and (NATO) NATO, you must stop standing next to the terrorists”.

The Turkish Anadolu news Agency quoted him as saying: “If we combined the massacres of the PKK terrorist organization against civilians in one book, the number of its pages would exceed the huge Western encyclopedias”.

Erdogan pointed out that Ankara agreed with both the governments of Baghdad and the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq to root out the organization.

He stressed that no country, institution, entity or person can hold Turkey accountable for its operations in Iraq and Syria after this “massacre”.

The Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said yesterday: “When we stormed the caves of the organization (northern Iraq), we found the bodies of 13 of our civilians who had been kidnapped by the organization previously”.

Bloomberg News Agency pointed out that this announcement may serve Ankara’s campaign demanding an end to US support for Kurdish militants in neighboring Syria, explaining that the operation is the bloodiest carried out by the Kurdish organization in years.

On Monday, Akar also announced the end of Operation Eagle Claw 2 in the Gara region in northern Iraq.

He explained that during the operation, the Turkish forces managed to destroy more than 50 sites of the organization.

During the operation, three Turkish army personnel were killed and three others were wounded.

The Turkish forces began the operation last Wednesday.

It should be noted that the “PKK” is classified as a terrorist organization in Turkey, the United States and the European Union. 

According to Turkish data, during the organization’s activities that have been going on for more than 30 years, the organization has killed about 40,000 people.

The Turkish army has launched raids and security operations targeting the sites of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the southeast of the country and northern Iraq since July of 2015, when the organization resumed its rebellion and attacks against security and army personnel after a two-year ceasefire.