Nearly 500 Kurdish targets in Iraq, Syria were hit, Turkish defense minister says

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Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Wednesday that Turkey’s military had hit nearly 500 Kurdish targets across Iraq and Syria as part of a campaign of air strikes.

“So far 471 targets have been struck and 254 terrorists were neutralized in the operation,” Akar was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency.

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Ankara began the series of air strikes as part of Operation Claw-Sword on Sunday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday threatened to launch a ground operation into Syria “with tanks and soldiers” in defiance of international pressure not to do so.

Turkey’s air raids followed a bombing in Istanbul on November 13 that killed six people and wounded 81.

Turkey blamed the attack on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is blacklisted as a terror group by the European Union and the United States.

The PKK, which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, denied any role in the bombing – the deadliest in five years after a spate of attacks in Turkey between 2015 and 2017.

Read more:

Turkey to attack Kurdish militants with soldiers, tanks: Erdogan

Turkey used US, Russian-controlled airspace in Syria strikes: Sources

Syria provides ‘drone lab’ for warring parties: Report

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