MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Turkey will expand operations against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq and will keep its troops on the ground as long as it sees fit, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.
He spoke to his ruling AK Party after the Turkish military found bodies of 13 kidnapped Turks in a cave in the Iraqi region of Gara.
“We will stay as long as we need in the places we made secure to avoid similar attacks again,” the president was quoted as saying by the Anadolu news agency.
Turkey accuses PKK fighters of abducting its nationals and launching deadly attacks on border towns. It has been making inroads into Iraq despite objections from the Iraqi government.
The Turkish government has been fighting the PKK – which seeks to secede from Turkey – since the early 1980s. The PKK and Ankara signed a ceasefire agreement in 2013, but it collapsed just two years later after several terror attacks were reportedly committed by PKK militants.