ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An airstrike launched by Turkey hit a resort area in the Kurdistan Region on Friday, damaging the cars of picnickers who quickly fled the scene.
Locals and visiting tourists told Kurdistan 24 they witnessed artillery barrages near the resort area of Ava Mark which lies in Shila-Dze sub-district, part of the Amadiya (Amedi) district of Duhok Province.
Some shared videos of the incident on social media as missiles landed near the area. Amid the deafening blitz, picnickers started panicking and quickly fled the area, fearing for their lives.
Some cars and shops were damaged during the attack with early reports indicating no human casualties.
Turkey has routinely shelled and attacked with warplanes areas well past its border with the Kurdistan Region, claiming nearby detection of members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a group fighting a decades-long insurgency with Ankara over Kurdish rights and self-rule.
On Sunday, the country's armed forces (TSK) claimed to have "neutralized" 14 PKK members "who were in preparation for an attack on [Turkish] military bases" and destroyed multiple hideouts and armories used by the militia group in what TSK said was an airstrike by one of their warplanes.
Turkish authorities use the term neutralize to indicate the killing, capture, or incapacitation of enemy fighters.
In mid-October, the TSK claimed to have neutralized 12 members of the outlawed group when its warplanes struck targets in mountainous areas within the Kurdistan Region's borders.
Ankara, as well as the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and NATO, consider the PKK a “terrorist” organization, with the US recently announcing multi-million dollar bounties on three top-ranking members of the PKK, all of whom it had previously designated as foreign narcotics traffickers.
As part of its conflict with the PKK, the Turkish army has crossed its southern border several times in the past year, in some places up 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) deep into the Kurdistan Region.
Editing by John J. Catherine