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Turkey Could Start Anti-PKK Operation in Iraq's Qandil Mountains Soon – Minister

© AFP 2021 / ARIS MESSINISTurkish soldiers on a tank sit opposite the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, at the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern Turkish village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province (File)
Turkish soldiers on a tank sit opposite the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, at the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern Turkish village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province (File) - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Turkey may soon start an operation against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Iraq's Qandil Mountains, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Monday, as quoted by Daily Sabah newspaper.

"It is not a matter of operation, but a matter of timing. Qandil is no longer a faraway goal for us," Soylu stated.

The main base of the PKK, designated as a terrorist organization in Turkey, is reportedly located in the Qandil Mountains, an Iraqi mountainous area near the Iranian border.

READ MORE: Greece Tightens Border As Kurds Flee Syria Following Turkish Invasion

Last January Turkey and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) opposition forces launched Operation Olive Branch in the Syrian northern district of Afrin aimed at "clearing" Turkey's Syrian border of the YPG and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters carry their weapons while riding on the back of a pick-up truck in Qamishli, Syria, March 11, 2016 - Sputnik International
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In March, Ankara announced that Afrin was under complete control of Turkish forces. Erdogan, however, said that the operation would not end with Afrin, clarifying that the regions of Manbij and Idlib would be the next targets.

Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds escalated in July 2015 when a ceasefire between Turkey and the PKK collapsed over a series of terror attacks allegedly committed by the PKK members. The Turkish forces are involved in anti-PKK raids across the country.

 

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