Monday, March 4, 2024

Turkey launches air raids on Iraq, Syria after 12 soldiers killed

The Turkish air force conducted air strikes in northern Iraq and Syria and destroyed 29 targets of the  Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) after 12 soldiers were killed in the past two days in northern Iraq, the defence ministry announced on Saturday.

The operations were conducted in northern Iraq and Syria at 20:00 (19:00 GMT) and the targets hit included bases, shelters, and oil facilities believed to be used by PKK militants, the ministry said.

It did not say which regions of northern Iraq and Syria the air strikes had struck.

Earlier on Saturday, the defence ministry reported that 12 Turkish soldiers had been killed in the past two days in clashes with PKK militants in northern Iraq.

Six of the soldiers had been killed in an attack on a base near Hakurk, which was attacked by members of the PKK on Friday, the defence ministry added.

The military carried out operations on PKK targets, “neutralising” at least 16 PKK militants on Saturday in ongoing clashes, the ministry said in a statement.

Turkey typically uses the term “neutralised” to mean killed. The ministry also added seven militants had been killed on Friday.

The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed in October to continue stepping up its strikes on “terrorist” targets in Iraq and Syria.

Turkey regularly carries out air strikes in neighbouring Iraq as part of its offensive against PKK militants based there.

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