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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Turkish fighter jets 'neutralize' 35 PKK terrorists in northern Iraq

Iran Press TV

Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:30PM

Turkish military aircraft have "neutralized" nearly three dozen members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group when they carried out a string of airstrikes against terrorist hideouts in Iraq's northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

The Turkish General Staff, in a statement released on Sunday, announced that Turkish fighter jets bombarded Qandil region, neutralizing 35 Kurdish militants in the process.

The Turkish military generally uses the term "neutralize" to signify that the militants were killed, captured or surrendered.

Speaking at a live interview with Turkish-language Kanal 7 television network on Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkish warplanes had hit a "critical" gathering of the PKK terror group in northern Iraq's Qandil region.

On June 8, at least nine PKK militants were killed when the Turkish military carried out an airstrike in the country's southeastern province of Sirnak.

The provincial governor's office said in a statement that the aerial assault took place in Bestler-Dereler region near the provincial capital city of Sirnak, situated some 1,000 kilometers east of the capital Ankara.

At least three Turkish soldiers were killed and another sustained injuries on June 4, when PKK militants launched a rocket attack in Turkey's southeastern province of Hakkari.

Security sources, requesting anonymity, said Kurdish PKK terrorists mounted the assault from a mountainous area on the Iraqi side of the border.

The Turkish military then started an operation in the area to "neutralize" the militants.

PKK militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.

Turkey, along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a terrorist group and banned it. The militant group has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.

A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.

Over the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria.

More than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.

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