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
0

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.


Turkey vows to keep striking PKK targets in Iraq

Updated 57 min 4 sec ago
0

Turkey vows to keep striking PKK targets in Iraq

  • Turkish foreign ministry said the country expected neighboring Iraq to fulfill its responsibilities in combatting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party
  • Turkey will invoke its “legitimate right to self-defense” if Iraq “does not do what’s necessary”

ISTANBUL: Turkey says it will continue to defend itself against terrorists after its strikes against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq sparked criticism from Baghdad.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said Saturday that Turkey expected neighboring Iraq to fulfill its responsibilities in combatting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. He says Turkey will invoke its “legitimate right to self-defense” if Iraq “does not do what’s necessary.”
Iraq summoned Turkey’s ambassador on Friday to protest Turkish air raids on Iraq’s Sinjar and Makhmour mountains, where the PKK operates. The group has waged an insurgency inside Turkey for more than three decades but also fought against the Daesh group in Iraq.
The Turkish Defense Ministry says Thursday’s strikes targeted PKK bases that supply Kurdish positions in northern Syria.