Turkish army to stay in northern Iraq until completing mission: minister

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-12 22:35:22|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ANKARA, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Turkish army will remain in northern Iraq until the terrorists are cleared from the region, Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Tuesday.

During the interview with state-run Anadolu News Agency, he said Turkey has moved into a new phase in the fight against terrorism in the region.

Canikli also said that the ongoing operation targeting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is in coordination with Baghdad and Tehran.

"Turkey was in full agreement with Baghdad on the operation," the minister said.

Turkey proposed a joint operation with Iran in northern Iraq's Qandil Mountains, but there has not been any progress on the issue yet, Canikli said, noting that Iran has voiced "very clearly" support for the offensive.

Turkish military has established bases in the areas captured from the groups in northern Iraq, he said.

Turkey has launched anti-terror operations in both Qandil and Sinjar regions in northern Iraq, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday, adding that Qandil would no longer be a threat and a source of terrorism for Turkey.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim confirmed last Friday that Turkey's military pushed 30 km into northern Iraq.

Following the Operation Olive Branch in Syria, Turkish forces now continue their offensives against camps of PKK in northern Iraq, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara.

The Qandil Mountains, located 40 km southeast of the Turkish border in Iraq's Erbil province, are being used as the headquarters of PKK militants.