Turkey has 11 temporary military bases in northern Iraq, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said Thursday.
Speaking in a live interview to private A Haber broadcaster, Yıldırım also said 400 square-kilometers of the region has been cleared of terrorists.
"We are shelling Mt. Qandil through air operations at times. This time PKK terrorists are crossing into Iran when they are on the back foot," the prime minister said.
He added Turkey has no problem with Iran over its Qandil operation.
PYD/YPG will start to leave Syria's Manbij on July 4, says Turkish FM
The PYD/YPG will begin leaving northern Syria's Manbij region as of July 4, following a month of preparations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Thursday.Çavuşoğlu said the roadmap for a solution in Manbij agreed upon by the United States and Turkey is being implemented fully.The People’s Protection Units (YPG) is the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.On June 12-13, Turkish and U.S. military officials agreed on a plan for ridding terrorists and stabilizing the northern Syrian city of Manbij during a preliminary meeting for implementation of the plan at the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.On June 18, Turkish and the U.S. troops started coordinated but independent patrols in the region, which are still ongoing.YPG/PKK terrorists separate families in Syria’s ManbijEarlier on Wednesday, Turkish Armed Forces began a second round of patrolling in Manbij as part of the objective to rid the area of the YPG/PKK terror group.The Manbij deal, which was made between Turkey and the U.S., focuses on the withdrawal of PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the northern Syrian city in order to stabilize the region.In the coming stages, the Manbij deal aims that a joint Turkey-U.S. patrol in the region is launched; the U.S. officials collect the heavy weapons of the YPG members, all terror members leave Manbij.It also aims that the local administration and security forces, which will be formed by Turkey and the U.S., secure the peace and stability in the city.Should the model prove to be a success, Turkey will push for a similar arrangement in eastern Syria.F-35 jets to arrive in Turkey in 2020The Turkish FM also pointed that F-35 fighter jets from the U.S. are set to arrive in Turkey in 2020.The U.S. is preparing to deliver the first batch of two F-35 fighter jets to Turkey during a ceremony that will be held in Texas on Thursday, despite the Senate passing a bill blocking the delivery, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.Speaking to reporters in southern Antalya province, Cavusoglu said training for the Lockheed Martin-made jets will be carried out in the U.S. until 2020."There will be training works until 2020. The arrival of the jets in Turkey will be in 2020," the foreign minister said.The U.S. Senate on Monday overwhelmingly approved the annual National Defense Authorization Act which includes an amendment prohibiting sales to Turkey of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, citing the purchase of the S-400 air defense system from Russia and detaining U.S. citizens as the reasons.Later, Turkey announced that the delivery of jets will take place at a ceremony in Texas, with the jets set to come to Turkey once the pilots complete training.Turkish army ends second round of patrols in ManbijYPG terror group positions abandoned in Syria’s ManbijSyrian refugees glad to see Turkish forces in Manbij
"We cleared the area in northwestern Syria's Afrin during Operation Olive Branch. We will do the same thing in Mt. Qandil area," the prime minister added.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin region. On March 18, Day 58 of the operation, Turkish troops, and Free Syrian Army members liberated the town of Afrin.
Turkey has been conducting a counter-terrorism operation in the area to clear it of PKK terrorists.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
PKK terror leaders ‘dealt with’ in Mt. Qandil sasy Erdoğan
Turkish military “dealt with” terrorist PKK leaders in an air operation in Mt. Qandil area, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.Erdogan’s remarks came during his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s election rally in southeastern Sanliurfa province.“We conducted our first operation with 20 fighter jets and struck 10 significant points in Mt. Qandil area,” Erdogan said, adding: “In our second operation, we dealt with their leaders' team when they were at a meeting in Mt. Qandil area.”On June 10, Turkish airstrikes destroyed 14 PKK terror targets in Mt. Qandil area, the military said.Reiterating Turkey's firm stance in the fight against terrorism, Erdogan said the region covering Sanliurfa would also be liberated from terrorists, and handed down to Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, the real owners of the region.PKK withdraws after Turkey pounds stronghold in N. IraqPKK terror group uses Europe as logistics baseTurkish airstrikes cause serious losses to PKK in IraqDuring his address, the president also announced that an applied sciences university would be established in liberated northern Syrian city of al-Bab.Erdogan said an applied sciences faculty would be established in al-Bab in coordination with Turkey's Maarif Foundation and Harran University."Classes will start in September 2018," he said.Erdogan recalled that Syria's Jarablus and al-Bab towns and Afrin city were all cleared of terrorists after Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations."Nearly 200,000 Syrians returned to these areas, to Jarablus and now to Afrin. And now we have made a deal with America and are making Manbij a safer area.- Operations continue in Iraq"My Arab brothers in Manbij are returning and will return to their lands," Erdogan said.Erdogan said Turkey established 12 observation points in Syria's Idlib and made the area safer for its residents.He emphasized that Turkey's operations in northern Iraq continue destroying PKK terrorist organization.Turkey has said the presence of terrorist forces near its border constitute a threat, and has launched military operations and other efforts to rid the region of terrorists.Operation Euphrates Shield, which began in August 2016 and ended in March 2017, was aimed at eliminating the terrorist threat along the Turkish border with the use of the Free Syrian Army, backed by Turkish artillery and air cover.On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from northwestern Syria's Afrin region. On March 18, Day 58 of the operation, Turkish troops, and Free Syrian Army members liberated the town of Afrin.On Monday, the Turkish and U.S. forces began patrols in Syria's Manbij in line with a deal which was first announced after a meeting in Washington last week between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.The Manbij deal focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the northern Syrian city in order to stabilize the region.Should the model prove to be a success, Turkey will push for a similar arrangement in eastern Syria.Later, addressing AK Party’s election rally in southeastern Mardin province, Erdogan said it is now Qandil's turn to be liberated from terrorists, citing Turkish military’s successful operation in Afrin, northwestern Syria.“Wherever terror and harassment against Turkey is, we will be down on their [terrorists'] necks,” Erdogan said.In its over-30-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives, including those of women and children. The YPG/PKK is its Syrian branch.
The group’s three-decade-long terror campaign against Turkey has left more than 40,000 people dead, including numerous women and children.
About a possible joint operation with Iran, Yıldırım said: "Iran expects to work with us all the time, including sharing intelligence, but it is naturally reluctant to launch a joint counter-terror operation within its borders."
On relations between Turkey and the U.S., Yıldırım said: "The reluctance over the extradition of FETÖ terrorist leader Fetullah Gülen is bothering us and our citizens' doubts about the U.S. are increasing. Less than 20 percent of our citizens rely on America, according to the field researches."
One of the main issues between the two sides is the U.S. cooperation with the PYD/YPG terrorist organization. "The U.S said we would part company with them [PYD/YPG] but did it happen?" he asked.
PKK withdraws after Turkey pounds stronghold in N. Iraq
The PKK has withdrawn from several positions after the Turkish Armed Forces stepped up military operations against the terrorist group in northern Iraq’s Qandil Mountain region on Wednesday, according to local officials.Ihsan Abdulqadir, head of the Sidakan sub-district near the Turkish-Iranian border, told Anadolu Agency that PKK terrorists had withdrawn from a number of checkpoints following a fresh round of bombardments by the Turkish military.Abdulqadir went on to stress that the terrorist group was deeply unpopular among the local population.“We, the people of Sidakan, want them [the PKK] out of the region,” he said.“We have repeatedly said that the group’s presence is dangerous but they have consistently refused to leave,” he added.In recent video footage of the area, dense smoke can be seen rising from positions around Qandil Mountain, which has long been a PKK terrorist stronghold.The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.The group’s three-decade-long terror campaign against Turkey has left more than 40,000 people dead, including numerous women and children.
Speaking about the Manbij deal, Yıldırım said: "In close cooperation, if the U.S. operates in Manbij in line with Turkey's concern, relations between Turkey and the U.S. may be normalized."
On June 12-13, Turkish and U.S. military officials agreed on a plan for ridding terrorists and stabilizing the northern Syrian city of Manbij during a preliminary meeting for implementation of the plan at the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
On June 18, Turkish and the U.S. troops started coordinated/independent patrols in the region, which are still ongoing.
Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish Armed Forces began a second round of patrolling in Manbij as part of its objective to rid the area of the YPG/PKK terror group.
Turkish airstrikes cause serious losses to PKK in Iraq
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Wednesday Turkish military operation in Mt. Qandil area of northern Iraq inflicted heavy losses on the PKK terror group.Speaking in a live interview to private CNN Turk broadcaster, Yildirim said: “Airstrikes against PKK terrorists in Mt. Qandil have resulted in serious losses to terror group, including members of its leadership.”Turkey has been conducting a counter terrorism operation in the area to clear it of PKK terrorists.On Turkey’s agreement with the U.S. over a joint action plan to clear northwestern Syrian Manbij area, Yildirim evaluated it as “a positive step”.“We are in favor of solving issues with the U.S. by talking. We don’t want to sever our ties,” he added.