In response to the infiltration and attack on a Turkish military base in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, which killed nine soldiers, Turkey initiated airstrikes on PKK positions in northern Iraq and Syria. The Turkish Defense Ministry stated that these airstrikes targeted areas including Metina, Hakurk, Gara, and Qandil in Iraq, with the aim of destroying caves, bunkers, shelters, and oil facilities used by the militants. Following the attack, Turkey reported that 36 militants were killed in Iraq and nine in Syria. This aggressive response is part of Turkey’s ongoing Operation Claw-Lock in northern Iraq, which has been a point of contention with the Iraqi government.
The Turkish government has escalated its counterterrorism efforts both domestically and across its borders. Following the recent attacks, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan vowed to continue the fight against the PKK. Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya announced the detention of 113 people suspected of PKK ties in Turkey, highlighting the government’s internal security measures. Additionally, Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu reported the neutralization of a senior PKK militant in Iraq, underlining the cross-border extent of Turkey’s military operations. These developments reflect the deep-seated conflict between Turkey and the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey and its Western allies, despite differing views on Syrian Kurdish groups allied with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS.