The Turkish pro-government media outlet Sabah outlined on Wednesday the projected scope of Turkey’s latest incursion into the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), stating that the Turkish military intends to penetrate 50-60 km into KRI territory and remain in the occupied territories after the operation is concluded.
The daily Sabah, headed by Serhat Albayrak, brother of Berat Albayrak, former finance and treasury minister and son-in-law of Turkish president Erdoğan, said, without indicating his source:
“It has been stated that Turkish troops will penetrate 50-60 kilometres into territories, and will disrupt all transit routes to render the organisation [the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)] inoperative. The ultimate objective will be Qandil [the Qandil mountains, where the PKK has headquarters and several bases].”
Noting that around 3,000 PKK fighters were estimated to be present in the areas of operation, the daily went on to say that a deal had been made with the KRI’s ruling clan, the Barzani Family:
“Meetings were held with [KRI prime minister Masrour] Barzani, and the Barzanis’ support has been secured. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Barzani also discussed it in a more recent meeting. Currently, the Barzani forces are deployed to prevent terrorists from escaping into areas controlled by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).”
“In order for all of these objectives to be accomplished and Qandil to be totally destroyed, the Turkish troops will not retreat after the operation.”