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Iran Press TV

Two soldiers killed in clashes with PKK in SE Turkey

Iran Press TV

Mon Sep 5, 2016 2:48PM

At least two Turkish soldiers have been killed in fresh clashes with militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the country's volatile southeast.

According to the state-run Turkish Anadolu news agency, the fatalities occurred on Monday when government forces launched an operation against the militants in the country's southeastern province of Hakkari.

The report said Turkey's special forces, backed by the army's air and land forces, were still conducting military operations against the PKK in Hakkari.

The development came two days after deadly clashes in the same province in which at least 12 soldiers were killed and 26 others sustained injuries. Government sources said over 100 militants were killed or wounded in the Saturday clashes.

Ankara has been engaged in a large-scale anti-PKK campaign in its southern border region over the past few months. The Turkish military has also been pounding the group's positions in northern Iraq as well in breach of the Arab country's sovereignty.

A shaky ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK that had stood since 2013 was declared null and void by the militants following the Turkish strikes against the group.

More than 600 Turkish security forces and over 7,000 PKK militants have been killed since the collapse of the truce, according to the latest toll provided by Anadolu in July.

'Turkey bent on fending off Daesh and PKK in Syria'

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Sunday that Turkey was determined to press ahead with its military operations against both the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group and Kurdish militants in neighboring Syria.

Speaking in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir, Yildirim claimed that Syria's territorial integrity was essential to Ankara, adding that the Turkish military and the allied militants have managed to drive out Daesh terrorists from border areas near the Syrian towns of Azaz and Jarablus.

Ankara's alleged fight against Daesh is believed to be a cover up for Turkey's real mission, which is purging Syrian border areas of Kurdish militants.

Ankara regards the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and its affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) as allies of the PKK, which has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.

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