Turkish troops mopping up in northern Iraq
( dpa )- Turkish troops on Saturday were engaged in mopping up operations in northern Iraq, Turkish media said, following the announcement on Friday that a week-long ground incursion against Kurdish separatists had come to an end.
The private NTV television station reported that while the vast majority of troops had returned to Turkey, some were conducting search and reconnaissance missions and mine-clearing.
NTV reported that troops were closely watching points from which Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) fighters launch attacks inside Turkey.
The Turkish General Staff on Friday announced the end of the incursion, saying the operation had achieved its objectives.
The announcement came just a day after US Defence Secretary Robert Gates held talks with Turkish leaders and urged a quick end to the Turkish military operation in northern Iraq. President George W Bush also made the call in Washington at a press conference Thursday.
The Turkish military statement said on Friday the decision to end the operation had been taken without any outside pressure.
Turkey had launched "Operation Gunes" on the night of February 21, with some 10,000 soldiers sent across the border to seek out PKK rebels and their camps.
According to the Turkish military, 240 PKK fighters, 24 Turkish soldiers and three state-employed village guards were killed in the operation.