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The New Arab Staff

Turkish army seizes PKK ammunition cache in northern Iraq

Turkey's incursions into Iraq have strained relations with Baghdad [Getty/ Archive]

Date of publication: 26 July, 2020

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The haul includes scores of AK-47 rifles, shot guns and anti-aircraft gun ammunition.
Turkish forces in northern Iraq seized a cache of weapons and ammunition during a raid against Kurdish militants, Turkey's defence ministry said on Saturday.

The seized items included 63 AK-47 rifles, two shot guns, 50 rocker launcher ammunition, 1,000 anti-aircraft gun ammunition, 300 chargers of AK-47 rifles, 50 grenades and 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of dynamite, Turkish state media outlet Anadolu reported.

"Our heroic commandos captured numerous arms and ammunition in a depot belonging to the PKK terrorist organisation," a ministry statement said, referring to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Turkey regularly carries out air and ground attacks against the PKK in northern Iraq. It says neither the Iraqi government nor the regional Iraqi Kurdish administration have taken measures to combat the group.

The recent incursion into Iraqi territory, dubbed "Operation Claw-Tiger", has drawn condemnation from Baghdad, which has summoned Ankara's ambassador to Iraq twice since the campaign was launched.

Read also: The Iraq Report: Pro-Iran militias reassert dominance over Mustafa al-Kadhimi

Turkey maintains that until the Iraqi government take actions against the PKK, it will continue to target the Kurdish group, considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union for its decades-long insurgency within Turkey.

Turkey's latest campaign poses a dilemma for the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, which relies on Turkey for oil exports through a pipeline running from Iraq's Kirkuk province to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

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