ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish jets launched a series of raids on alleged Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) outposts in the Kurdistan Region as part of ‘anti-terror’ operations, destroying 12 targets according to Turkish state-run news agency, Anadolu.
“Some 12 targets used by terrorists as shelters and weapons depots were destroyed in northern Iraq's Gara, Metina, Sinath-Haftanin and Hakurk regions in airstrikes carried out on Thursday and Friday,” a Turkish Staff-General said in a statement on Friday, quoted by Anadolu.
The PKK took up arms in the 1980s to demand rights for Kurdish citizens in a conflict that has claimed some 40,000 lives on both sides. Violence has escalated since the collapse of a peace process between Ankara and the PKK in the summer of 2015.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by several states and organizations, including NATO, the US, the UK and the European Union. However, the United Nations and other major powers have not designated the organization as such.
The PKK released a statement on Tuesday saying they had killed 5 Turkish soldiers in a series of operations within the Kurdistan Region’s borders.
In recent months, Turkish forces have stepped up military action against PKK fighters within the Kurdistan Region, including building outposts and military access roads. They have crossed into the region up to 20 kilometers deep in some areas to target Kurdish guerilla fighters, and bombardment from Turkish jets occasionally result in the death of civilians unaffiliated to the PKK.
The PKK did not respond to the statement released by Anadolu, and no further details on the operation were given.
Mutual bombardment between Turkish forces and the PKK often damages property belonging to farmers and residents of border villages in the Kurdistan Region and Turkey.
Editing by Nadia Riva