Turkey says 3 soldiers killed in Iraq clashes with Kurdish rebels

An honor guard carries the coffin of a Turkish soldier killed in clashes with PKK fighters, in Ankara, in 2015. Three Turkish soldiers were killed Thursday by Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. (AP Photo)
Updated 31 May 2018
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Turkey says 3 soldiers killed in Iraq clashes with Kurdish rebels

  • Turkish army: “Three of our heroic comrades fell as martyrs as a result of clashes with members of the separatist terrorist organization in northern Iraq.”
  • Turkish warplanes have often bombed PKK hideouts in the mountainous northern Iraq while the security forces have sporadically launched cross-border incursions in pursuit of rebel fighters.

ANKARA: Three Turkish soldiers were killed Thursday in clashes with fighters from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, the army said.
“Three of our heroic comrades fell as martyrs as a result of clashes with members of the separatist terrorist organization in northern Iraq,” the army said, referring to the PKK which is designated as a terror group by Turkey and its Western allies.
Turkish warplanes have often bombed PKK hideouts in the mountainous northern Iraq while the security forces have sporadically launched cross-border incursions in pursuit of rebel fighters.
The army statement did not say where the latest clashes took place.
On Tuesday, the army said another soldier was killed in an attack blamed on the PKK, and responded with airstrikes against the group.
The PKK has been waging an insurgency in the southeast of Turkey since 1984 which has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
Fighting in the region intensified between Turkish security forces and the PKK after the collapse of a two-year cease-fire in 2015.
The PKK’s leadership and rear bases are located in the remote mountainous Qandil region and other areas of northern Iraq.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly threatened a major cross-border operation to dislodge the group from its strongholds there.


Israel clears Palestinians from Jerusalem home claimed by settlers

Updated 17 February 2019
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Israel clears Palestinians from Jerusalem home claimed by settlers

  • Residents of the neighborhood in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem scuffled with police, who stood guard as about a dozen Israeli settlers took possession of the large building

JERUSALEM: Israeli police on Sunday evicted a Palestinian family from their home in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, after the supreme court ruled Jewish claimants were the rightful owners.
An AFP photographer said residents of the neighborhood in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem scuffled with police, who stood guard as about a dozen Israeli settlers took possession of the large building.
A police spokesman said two people were detained.
“They disturbed police activities,” he told AFP but could not say if they were subsequently released.
Rania Abu Asab, who lived in the house with her husband, their children and his aunt, stood weeping outside as the settlers raised the Israeli flag on the roof.
“We live there, it’s my house, it’s my whole life,” she said. “They took everything.”
She said the family was compelled to leave behind all its furniture and belongings.
Ir Amim, an Israeli watchdog group which monitors settlement activity in Jerusalem, reported on February 3 that the Abu Asab family had been served an eviction notice ordering them to vacate the property by February 12.
It said family members had lived there since the 1960s.
Israeli NGO Peace Now said the home originally belonged to a Jewish family which fled during the 1948 war which accompanied Israel’s foundation.
East Jerusalem was occupied during that conflict by Jordan until the 1967 Six-Day War, when it was seized by Israel and subsequently annexed, moves never recognized by the international community.
The Abu Asab family lived until 1948 in a neighborhood it fled before eventually moving to the home in question.
Peace Now said in a statement Sunday that under an Israeli law passed in 1950 Palestinians cannot return to homes they fled in 1948.
A 1970 act, however, decreed that property in east Jerusalem abandoned by Jewish owners could be reclaimed.
“The court granted the settlers the house and the Abu Asab family became refugees for the second time,” Peace Now said.