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Turkish forces ‘neutralize’ 58 Kurdish PKK terrorists in northern Iraq: Defense Ministry

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows a Turkish F-16 fighter jet in flight.

Turkish security forces have “neutralized” nearly 60 members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group in a string of artillery strikes and air raids followed by operations by commando brigades in Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

The Turkish Defense Ministry announced in a statement published on its official Twitter page on Sunday that 58 PKK terrorists had been neutralized over the past four weeks as part of Operation Claw, which has been going on since May 27 in the Hakurk region of northern Iraq.

The Turkish military generally uses the term "neutralize" to signify that the militants were killed, captured or they surrendered.

The Turkish Interior Ministry said on Saturday that Turkish forces had conducted clean-up operations in a rural area of the country’s eastern province of Tunceli, neutralizing two PKK terrorists.

PKK militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.

In this file picture, a group of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants enter northern Iraq in the Heror area, northeast of Dahuk, located 430 kilometers (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. (Photo by The Associated Press)

Turkey, along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a terrorist group and banned it. The militant group has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.

A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.

Over the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria.

More than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.

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