3 Turkish soldiers killed in PKK attacks in Iraq, Turkey

A file photo of Turkish helicopter operating near the border area with Iraq. (AFP)
Updated 01 February 2018
0

3 Turkish soldiers killed in PKK attacks in Iraq, Turkey

ANKARA: Three Turkish soldiers were killed on Thursday in two separate attacks by Kurdish militants in northern Iraq and in southeastern Turkey, the military said. Two other soldiers were wounded after the attack by the “separatist terrorist organization” Turkey’s official term for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, the army said in a statement.
The PKK is blacklisted as a terror organization by Ankara and its Western allies.
Meanwhile, in an earlier attack, one soldier was killed and five were wounded after an attack near a military base in the Cukurca district of Hakkari province.
Earlier Turkish media reported two Turkish soldiers were killed in an attack in Hakkari’s Semdinli district — which appeared to be a separate incident — blamed on the PKK launching a missile from northern Iraq. But the army did not refer to this attack in its statements.
The deaths come a day after the army said one Turkish soldier was killed in an attack in the eastern province of Agri.
Following the collapse of a two-year cease-fire in 2015, fighting has intensified between Turkish security forces and the PKK in the southeast.
The Turkish military regularly conducts air raids against PKK militants who have bases in the Qandil mountain area of Iraq.


Syria Kurds urge world to take back foreign militants

Updated 59 min 51 sec ago
0

Syria Kurds urge world to take back foreign militants

  • The Kurdish administration’s top foreign affairs official Abdel Karim Omar warned that its foreign captives still pose a threat
  • Many of the suspected militants’ countries of origin are reluctant to take them back due to potential security risks

OMAR OIL FIELD, Syria: Syria’s Kurds warned Sunday that the thousands of foreign militants they have detained in their fight against the Daesh group are a time-bomb the international community urgently needs to defuse.
Speaking a day after Kurdish-led forces announced the final demise of the militants’ physical “caliphate,” the Kurdish administration’s top foreign affairs official Abdel Karim Omar warned that its foreign captives still pose a threat.
“There are thousands of fighters, children and women and from 54 countries, not including Iraqis and Syrians, who are a serious burden and danger for us and for the international community,” Omar said.
“Numbers increased massively during the last 20 days of the Baghouz operation,” he said, referring to the village by the Euphrates where diehard militants made a bloody last stand.
The fate of foreign Daesh fighters has become a major issue as the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces closed in on the once-sprawling proto-state the militants declared in 2014.
After a months-long assault by the US-backed SDF to flush out the last Daesh strongholds in the Euphrates Valley, militants and their families gradually gathered in Baghouz as the last rump of the “caliphate” shrank around them.
While some managed to escape, many of the foreigners stayed behind, either surrendering to the SDF or fighting to the death.
According to the SDF, 66,000 people left the last Daesh pocket since January, including 5,000 militants and 24,000 of their relatives.
The assault was paused multiple times as the SDF opened humanitarian corridors for people evacuating the besieged enclave.
The droves of people scrambling out of Baghouz in recent weeks were screened by the SDF and dispatched to camps further north, where most are still held.
The de facto autonomous Kurdish administration is northeastern Syria has warned it does not have capacity to detain so many people, let alone put them on trial.
But many of the suspected militants’ countries of origin are reluctant to take them back due to potential security risks and a likely public backlash.
Some have even withdrawn citizenship from their nationals detained in Syria.
“There has to be coordination between us and the international community to address this danger,” Abdel Karim Omar said.
“There are thousands of children who have been raised according to IS ideology,” he added.
“If these children are not reeducated and reintegrated in their societies of origin, they are potential future terrorists.”