Turkey is planning to establish more temporary military bases in northern Iraq, according to a senior official who told Reuters it will ensure border security.
The report yesterday comes amid an increase in air strikes carried out by Turkey against Kurdish PKK terrorist targets in the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Ankara carried out two separate operations against the PKK on Sunday and Tuesday in retaliation for what it says are a rise in militant attacks on Turkish army bases along the border. Yesterday, Turkish forces struck more than 500 alleged PKK sites with F-16 jets, drones and howitzers as part of the operation codenamed "Claw-Tiger" in the Haftanin region.
The unnamed Turkish official confirmed that Ankara started operations after talks with the Iraqi authorities in order to neutralise the PKK from its borders and target the group's logistical capabilities.
"The plan is to establish temporary base areas [to] prevent the cleared regions from being used for the same purpose again. There are already more than 10 temporary bases there. New ones will be established," the source said.
Iran had simultaneously carried out shelling of the Haji Omaran area along its border, leading local Kurdish officials to suspect the two sides were coordinating with one another. In response, Baghdad summoned its Turkish and Iranian ambassadors in protest over their countries' respective military operations. The actions were also condemned by the Arab League.
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