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TURKEY’s military operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraqi Kurdistan has ended in humiliation, with forces retreating on Sunday after air strikes killed 13 Turkish soldiers.
The HPG, the military wing of the PKK, said that Operation Claw Eagle 2 had failed and that Turkey, which has Nato’s second-largest army, had been forced to leave with the blood of its own people on its hands.
“The attempted invasion of the Turkish occupation army in the Gare region has met the effective resistance of our forces and failed from the first moment,” an HPG statement said.
“The so-called elite forces of the Turkish army were hit hard and suffered defeat. With the blood of its own people on its hands, the Turkish army withdrew from Gare.”
Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar insisted that the PKK had “executed” 13 Turkish civilians that he said had been held captive for the past four years.
The PKK dismissed the claims and said those held were Turkish intelligence, police and military personnel captured in operations against Kurdish forces in northern Iraq.
The attempted bombing of the hostages was raised by the PKK before the deadly air strike, with a spokesman warning on Thursday: “Turkish shelling that took place yesterday targeted a prison in which captured Turkish soldiers are kept.”
In a statement after Sunday’s attack, a HPG spokesman said: “That no- ne would survive such a fierce attack is clear to anyone with basic military knowledge. The attack was not aimed at liberating the prisoners of war, but at destroying them.
“The only person responsible for the death of these people is Hulusi Akar. He gave the order for such an attack and has no human feelings whatsoever.”
The PKK said that more details of the four-day guerilla resistance would be shared soon.
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