Turkey says it has ‘neutralized’ 43 Kurdish militants in northern Iraq

Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar speaks with an officer as Turkish army's top commanders stand behind at Turkey-Iraq border near Hakkari, Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (AP)
Updated 08 June 2019
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Turkey says it has ‘neutralized’ 43 Kurdish militants in northern Iraq

  • The Turkish military launched what it dubbed “Operation Claw” in northern Iraq’s Hakurk region, on May 27 with artillery and air strikes followed by operations by commando brigades
  • The PKK militant group is based in northern Iraq, notably in the Qandil region to the south of Hakurk

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday a total of 43 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) had been “neutralized” so far as part of an operation Ankara launched in northern Iraq 13 days ago.
The Turkish military launched what it dubbed “Operation Claw” in northern Iraq’s Hakurk region, on May 27 with artillery and air strikes followed by operations by commando brigades.
The PKK militant group is based in northern Iraq, notably in the Qandil region to the south of Hakurk. Ankara said the operation aimed to destroy shelters and caves used by the PKK and “neutralize” its members — a term it commonly uses to refer to deaths, but also to those wounded or captured.
“43 PKK terrorists have been neutralized as part of Operation Claw, which has continued successfully for 13 days in the Hakurk region of northern Iraq,” the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
It said 53 mines and improvised explosive devices had been destroyed and 74 caves and shelters used by the PKK were made unusable, adding that it had also seized weapons and ammunition belonging to the militants.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said the operation would continue in the region until “the last terrorist is neutralized.”
The PKK insurgency in mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey began in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict. It is designated a terrorist group by Ankara, the European Union and United States.
Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest in parliament, has said such operations created crises and that tens of similar operations in the past had not created a solution.
Separately, two PKK members, one of whom was on Turkey’s wanted list, were “neutralized” in Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakir province, the Interior Ministry said.
Another PKK member was arrested in Diyarbakir at a traffic checkpoint, the local gendarmarie said.


Record 12.4m people reached with food aid in Yemen: UN

Updated 20 September 2019
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Record 12.4m people reached with food aid in Yemen: UN

  • But still needed $600 million from donors to provide uninterrupted food deliveries for the next six months in the war-torn country
  • Houthi forces have used access to aid and food as a political tool

GENEVA: A record 12.4 million people in Yemen received food aid in August, the first time the targeted population was reached fully, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday.
At the same time, WFP said it still needed $600 million from donors to provide uninterrupted food deliveries for the next six months in the war-torn country. Rations could be cut from October if funds are not forthcoming, it added.
Houthi forces have used access to aid and food as a political tool, exacerbating what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with high rates of severe child malnutrition.
“New numbers from the August distribution cycle indicate that the UN World Food Programme has reached a record 12.4 million food-insecure people with food assistance in August. This is the highest number ever reached,” WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel said in a statement.
WFP previously reached about 11 million Yemenis per month with rations.
The agency halted most aid in Sanaa on June 20 out of concern that food was being diverted, through a local partner, away from vulnerable people. However, it maintained nutrition programs only for malnourished children, as well as pregnant and nursing mothers.
WFP resumed distributions to 850,000 people two months later in the Yemeni capital after reaching an agreement with the Iran-aligned Houthi authorities who control the city. WFP said at the time a biometric registration process would be introduced for 9 million people living in areas under Houthi control.