Turkey’s military operations in Iraq and Syria
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s armed forces have conducted several large-scale military operations over the decades in northern Iraq and northern Syria against Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, the Islamic State and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Here is a timeline of Turkish cross-border military operations in northern Iraq and northern Syria:
Nov. 20, 2022 – ONGOING. “Claw Sword”
Turkey said it carried out air strikes on Kurdish militant bases in northern Syria and northern Iraq, destroying 89 targets, in retaliation for a bomb attack in Istanbul that killed six people on Nov. 13.
Oct. 9-23, 2019. “Operation Peace Spring”
Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies launched military operation into northeast Syria, aiming to drive back Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and create a 30-km deep ‘safe zone’ where Ankara plans to settle Syrian refugees.
May 27, 2019 – ONGOING. “Claw” operations
Turkey launched a series of operations dubbed “Claw” in northern Iraq after President Tayyip Erdogan’s declaration of “a new security concept in combating terrorism.”
Turkish military reported 1,441 militia members were “neutralized”, a term commonly used to say “killed”, in the offensive that eventually expanded into northern Syria.
Jan. 20 – March 24, 2018. “Operation Olive Branch”
Around 25,000 Free Syrian Army rebels joined Turkish forces to capture Arab towns and villages seized by the YPG, taking control of the Afrin region of northwest Syria.
Aug. 24, 2016 – March 31, 2017. “Operation Euphrates Shield”
Turkish troops and 1,500 Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army rebels drove Islamic State militants and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia from the border.
Turkish forces secured control of the region between Afrin and Manbij districts, pushing Kurdish YPG militia east of Euphrates river and driving Islamic State fighters away from Jarablus, Dabiq and Al-Bab regions in northwest Syria.
Feb. 21-122, 2015. “Operation Shah Euphrates”
Operation in northern Syria to move the shrine of Suleyman Shah, which Ankara regards as sovereign Turkish territory, to a Turkish-controlled location near the border and evacuate 38 guards under threat from Islamic State.
Feb. 21–29, 2008. “Operation Sun”
Thousands of Turkish troops crossed into northern Iraq to attack Kurdish rebels using the Iraqi region as a base to stage attacks in Turkey. A senior Turkish military official said around 8,000 troops took part.
Sept. 25 – 15 Oct. 15, 1997. “Operation Dawn”
Thousands of Turkish troops, backed by air power, initiated Operation Dawn targeting PKK camps in northern Iraq.
May 12 – July 7, 1997. “Operation Hammer”
Turkey sent 30,000 soldiers to northern Iraq to fight PKK units and to support Massoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party.
March 20 – May 4, 1995. “Operation Steel”
Turkish Armed Forces started a military offensive into northern Iraq with around 35,000 troops targeting PKK, which was carrying out an insurgency in southeast Turkey from bases in northern Iraq.
(Reporting by Canan Sevgili, Azra Ceylan, Halilcan Soran and Oben Mumcuoglu)