"The remaining troops will also return home when their mission is completed during the course of the operation," he added. Military analysts said the rebels continued to challenge the army as late as Monday, when 41 rebels and two soldiers were killed in a clash.
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Ankara - Turkey has pulled out nearly two-thirds of its troops from northern Iraq, five weeks into its offensive against Kurdish rebels there. A military spokesman said 20,000 troops, comprising five brigades, returned to their bases on the border; about 12,000 soldiers remain.