AA News

Turkish intel ‘neutralizes’ ringleader of terrorist PKK in northern Iraq

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish intelligence has “neutralized” a ringleader of the PKK terrorist organization in northern Iraq, security sources said on Monday.

The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) carried out a cross-border anti-terror operation against terrorists, who launched multiple strikes against security forces both in Türkiye and northern Iraq, said the sources on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.

Among the terrorists targeted in the operation was Hulya Mercen, codenamed Peyman Bagok, one of the so-called senior leaders of the PKK.

The terror member was taken down in Iraq’s Metina region, where nine Turkish soldiers were killed by PKK members on Jan. 12.

MIT determined that the terrorist Mercen was training female members of the terror group for the last 32 years.

Turkish authorities use the term “neutralize” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

Following the killing of nine Turkish soldiers on Friday in a terror attack in northern Iraq, security forces began to crack down on PKK terrorists.

PKK terrorists often hide out in northern Iraq to plot cross-border attacks in Türkiye. The group also has a Syrian branch, known as the YPG.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and EU — has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.​​​​​​​