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Turkey launches new operation against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq

ANKARA, July 13 (Xinhua) — Turkey launched a new wave of military operation against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq late Friday, the Turkish Defense Ministry said Saturday.

The new operation, dubbed Operation Claw-2, which began at 10 p.m. local time (GMT 1900), targets caves and shelters used by members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Hakurk region, according to a ministry statement.

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The military operation is supported by commandoes, air strikes, artillery and armed drones, the statement said.

Turkey launched first Operation Claw in Iraq’s Hakurk region on May 27.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the EU, resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015 after a brief reconciliation period.

Iraq’s Hakurk region, located 30 to 40 km south of Turkey’s southeastern province of Hakkari, now serves as the main PKK base between its headquarters in the Qandil mountains near the border with Iran and Turkey.

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