By Yilmaz Kazandioglu
A major Turkish military campaign against the terror group PKK in northern Iraq is now in its second week with dozens of terrorists either killed or captured, a security source said Friday.
Fifty-five terrorists have been "neutralized", 20 caves, and 42 shelters have been destroyed so far since the March 10 launch of the operation which targeted PKK camps and hideouts in Hakurk and Kani Rash regions of northern Iraq, according to the security source who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
Five PKK caves and 12 shelters were destroyed Friday in Turkish airstrikes, the source said.
Turkish military also targeted storage tankers and pipelines used in fuel smuggling -- a major source of income for the terror group.
A large cache of weapons and ammunition including rocket launchers, infantry rifles, Kalashnikovs, guns, hand grenades and cartridges, as well as water, food, and living supplies have also been seized.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey as well as the U.S. and the EU. In its terror campaign against Turkey, which has lasted for more than three decades, over 40,000 people have been killed, including women and children.
Airstrikes on PKK targets in northern Iraq, where the terror group has its main bases in the Mt. Qandil region, near the Iranian border, have been carried out regularly since July 2015, when the PKK resumed its armed terror campaign.
The airstrikes take place amid the Turkish-led Operation Olive Branch across the Turkish border in Afrin, northwestern Syria, targeting the threat of the PKK's Syrian branch, the terrorist YPG/PYD/PKK.