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Turkey plans to establish new base in Duhok's Metina: minister

  2021-04-30  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu speaks during a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, August 21, 2019. Ahmet Bolat/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
 Zhyan News Network


SULAIMANI – Turkish Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu said his country will establish a new military base in Metina region in northern Duhok governorate near the Turkish border to block the movement of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the area.

“The operations in Northern Iraq will continue. The Metina region is an important place. Just like in Syria, we will establish a base here and we will control the region,” Soylu said during his party’s, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), reported by pro-government Turkiye news outlet on Friday. 

"This region is the crossing line to Qandil. We will keep this line under control," he said, referring to the PKK’s main headquarters in the rear northeastern border areas in northern Kurdistan Region. 

On April 23, Turkey launched a cross-border land and air operation codenamed Operation Claw-Lightning and Claw-Thunderbolt in PKK-controlled Duhok’s Avasin, Metina and Zap areas in northern Duhok governorate.

Turkey has about 40 military bases in border areas of the Kurdistan Region and inside the cities of Erbil, Duhok, Zakho and Soran according to a map published by the Turkish Presidency Communication Directorate that was removed immediately.

The PKK has announced four deaths within its ranks, while Turkey has claimed six death within its ranks. Zhyan News Network could not verify the actual casualties.  

No civilian casualties have been reported so far since the new Turkish push began, but at least thirteen civilians were killed in the Turkish airstrikes in Ankara’s previously cross-border operation. 

On Sunday, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), a nonprofit working on human rights abuses in the Kurdistan Region, said that 60 families had been displaced from their homes in Kani Mase in the first day of the Turkish operation.

Turkey’s airstrike and shelling are almost a daily recurrence in the Kurdistan Region, more notably in the border areas. 

Cross-border land and air violations by Turkey has tripled on a daily average since 2017, according to records submitted by Iraq to the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Both Iraqi Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have called on Turkey and PKK to take their fight to somewhere else.

Since July 20, 2015, the conflict between Turkish security forces and the PKK has claimed more than 5,311 lives on both sides in Turkey and the Kurdistan Region, including 541 civilians, 1,279 Turkish state security members, 226 individuals of unknown affiliation and 3,265 PKK members, according to the latest data by the Belgium-based International Crisis Group.

Based in the Region’s mountainous areas, PKK has taken up arms against the Turkish authorities since 1978 for Kurdish rights in the country.

(Zhyan English)