15 PKK militants killed in airstrikes in Turkey, northern Iraq: Military
Iran Press TV
Sat Jun 2, 2018 10:34AM
The Turkish military says the country's warplanes have "neutralized" at least 15 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group in northern Iraq and eastern Turkey.
The Turkish Armed Forces said in a statement on Saturday that the air strikes had been carried out on Iraq's northern region of Hakurk as well as Turkey's eastern provinces of Tunceli and Siirt over the past 24 hours.
The statement said the operations were still going on against the PKK terrorists.
Turkish authorities use the word "neutralize" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
The PKK, viewed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, reportedly has camps in the Qandil Mountains in northern Iraq, from which it purportedly carries out attacks into Turkey.
The militants have been fighting a decades-long war in quest for an independent state in southeastern Turkey. Around 40,000 people have been killed in the violence.
Earlier in March, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara and Baghdad planned to carry out a joint military operation against PKK members in northern Iraq.
Turkey said it had begun operations against Kurdish forces in Iraq's Sinjar region in late March, despite Iraq's announcement that no foreign forces had crossed the border into the country. A few days later, Iraq also started deploying forces in Sinjar region.
The Sinjar operation came after the Turkish military said it had established full control over Syria's northwestern Afrin region following more than two months of battle with the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara views as the Syrian branch of the PKK.
A shaky ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK was declared null and void by the militants in 2015 in the wake of a large-scale Turkish military campaign against the group.
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