( UPI ) - Turkey has started its fall offensive early against the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, The New Anatolian reported Friday.
The country has deployed about 40,000 men, including paramilitary police officers and soldiers. They are conducting "search-and-destroy" operations aimed at PKK hideouts and looking for caches of food and military supplies.
Andrew MacGregor, a Canadian terrorism expert, said in an analysis this week that officials decided to move in mid-September to strengthen Turkey's position with the Kurdish region in Iraq and to impress the United States. The Turkish government has accused Iraq of providing havens for the PKK.
"The U.S. should understand and see that it is not time for words, but for action," said General Ilker Basbug, commander of the Turkish Land Forces.
The PKK is believed to have 1,500 to 1,900 militant fighters in Turkey. MacGregor said that by the end of October, as winter sets in, the operations will have to end.