Turkish forces advance into northern Iraq

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-05 06:39:09|Editor: yan
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ANKARA, June 4 (Xinhua) -- The Turkish army has pushed about 25 km into northern Iraq toward Qandil mountain area to clear Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants, local media reported late Monday.

The Turkish military has not yet announced details of the ongoing operations, however, several pictures circulating on social media showed the presence of special forces in villages close to Qandil region, Daily Sabah said.

Speaking in a televised interview with state-run Anadolu Agency, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Monday that Turkey could soon launch an anti-terror operation in Qandil.

"Operation against PKK group in Qandil Mountains is a matter of time. I assure that Qandil will be a secure place for Turkey soon," Soylu said.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag also said later Monday that Turkey had the right to carry out operations against PKK in northern Iraq's Qandil region, and "will do so any time it deems necessary."

On Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that counterterrorism operation in Afrin had been successfully carried out and "now it is time for Qandil."

The Qandil Mountains, located 40 km southeast of the Turkish border in Iraq's Irbil province, are being used as the headquarters of the PKK, which is outlawed in Turkey.