By Mesut Varol and Ozkan Bilgin
VAN, Turkey (AA) - A Turkish military operation against the PKK terror group in three southeastern provinces will continue until every last terrorist is cleared from the area, a top commander said Wednesday.
Launched in Van, Hakkari and Sirnak with 129 teams and 14 battalions, Operation Kiran will permanently establish Turkey's security in the region, gendarmerie chief Arif Cetin said at a military base in the Van countryside.
Arif said the fight against terrorism would continue in a coordinated manner with operations under the directive of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Underlining that the majority of terrorists had been eliminated from Turkey's mountainous southeast, Arif said that soon, all residents would be able to work their fields and go about their daily lives.
"We will work with our strength for the development and prosperity of our country," he said.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur