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Turkey Launches Pence-3 Operation in Northern Iraq Against Kurdish PKK - Military

© AP Photo / Cagdas ErdoganMilitants from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, run as they attack Turkish security forces in Nusaydin, Turkey, 1 March 2016
Militants from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, run as they attack Turkish security forces in Nusaydin, Turkey, 1 March 2016 - Sputnik International
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ANKARA (Sputnik) - The Turkish Defence Ministry announced on Saturday that it had launched a new operation on Friday dubbed Pence-3 (Claw-3) in northern Iraq targeting members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which it considers a terrorist organisation.

"The operation Pence-3 began on 23 August in the area of Sinat-Haftanin in northern Iraq. Its aim is to ensure the security of the borders, and the elimination of terrorists and their hideouts," the statement read.

Turkish jets, drones and Firtina mortars are being used in the operation, the ministry added.

The operation succeeds the operations Pence-1 and Pence-2, which targeted Kurdish militants in the northern Iraqi region of Hakurk.

The Turkish government has been fighting the PKK, which seeks to establish a Kurdish autonomous region in Turkey, since the early 1980s. The PKK and Ankara agreed on a ceasefire in 2013, but it collapsed just two years later after a number of terror attacks, allegedly committed by PKK militants.

Turkish security forces carry out regular anti-PKK raids across the country and conduct airstrikes against the group in northern Iraq.

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