Turkey has launched a new military operation dubbed Operation Claw-3 in northern Iraq against rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) who have base camps there, Turkish Defense Ministry announced on Saturday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
"Operation Claw-3 is being carried out with the aim of securing the border and destroying caves and shelters of terrorists in northern Iraq," said the ministry in a statement.
The operation is launched to "facilitate border security, neutralize terrorists, and destroy shelters in Sinat-Haftanin region in northern Iraq," the ministry added.
Two previous Operation Claw operations were launched by the Turkish army in May and July aimed to prevent the infiltration of PKK terrorists into Turkey from northern Iraq, especially the Hakurk region.
This region, which serves as one of the main bases of the PKK in northern Iraq, is frequently used by rebels to infiltrate into Turkey or attack Turkish border outposts.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the EU. The conflict has since the early 1980s claimed the lives of 40,000 people.