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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Turkey appoints new army chief amid military campaign

Iran Press TV

Wed Aug 5, 2015 5:30PM

Turkey has chosen a new army chief amid the country's military offensive against the purported positions of the ISIL terror group as well as militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The appointment was made on Wednesday naming Land Forces commander Hulusi Akar new as chief of staff taking over from General Necdet Ozel.

The 63-year-old commander has vast NATO experience and is tougher in comparison with retiring Ozel.

Ankara has recently kicked off an operation against what is purported to be ISIL positions in Syria and PKK bases in northern Iraq.

The offensive came after a deadly bombing that killed over 30 people in the Turkish town of Suruc, near the border with Syria, last month.

The PKK, which accuses Ankara of being in cahoots with the ISIL, killed two Turkish police in reprisal for the Suruc blast, in a fresh wave of violence that ended a 2013 ceasefire between the two sides.

Media reports say the attacks blamed on the PKK have so far killed 20 members of the Turkish security forces.

Meanwhile, in a separate development on Wednesday, Ankara dismissed and slammed a statement by the head of the Arab League who criticized Turkey for conducting airstrikes against Kurdish militants in Iraq.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi in the statement called on the Turkish government to respect the sovereignty of Iraq while warning about an escalation of violence.

In reaction, the Turkish Foreign Ministry urged Arabi to "support the fight against terrorism, not terror."

Iraq has also denounced the strikes as a dangerous escalation and a violation of its sovereignty.



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