Qatar condemns the execution of 13 Turkish citizens in Iraq.
Qatar condemned on Monday the execution of 13 Turkish citizens in northern Iraq by the the Kurdish Workers Party [PKK], a movement deemed a terrorist organisation by Ankara.
“Qatar reiterates its firm rejection of violence and terrorism regardless of the motives and reasons,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Qatar expressed condolences to the families of the victims as well as Turkey’s government.
Hulusi Akar, the Turkish defence minister confirmed the killings during a visit to the operations centre on the border in southeastern Sirnak province.
“While our activities in the Operation Claw-Eagle 2 zone were continuing, the mortal remains of 13 citizens were found in a cave,” Hulusi Akar said.
Operation Claw-Eagle 2 was launched by Turkey on February 10 to prevent the PKK/KCK and other groups from re-establishing positions used to carry out cross-border attacks, local media reported.
The Turkish victims were shot dead, the official said, denying earlier reports that they had been killed in bombings.
Most of the victims were troops or police abducted by the PKK and kept as hostages in a cave.
Turkish authorities said operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle were launched in June to ensure the safety of residents as well as the country’s borders.
“According to the information by two terrorists who were captured alive, our citizens were martyred by the ‘cave manager’ before the start of the anti-terror operation in the hideout,” stated the Turkish minister.
The PKK is a Kurdish militant organisation that is outlawed by Turkey, the US, the EU, Japan, and Australia, as a “terrorist” group.