ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – At least one killed and seven injured this past week during the Turkish army’s operations near the border areas with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region against alleged Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) targets.
“Between July 6-12, the army conducted anti-terror operations in the eastern Turkish provinces of Sirnak, Hakkari, Kars, Agri, Mardin, and Bitlis as well as regions of northern Iraq,” state-owned outlet Anadolu Agency reported, quoting the Turkish General Staff.
The Turkish military also stated that they had neutralized—a word their authorities use to indicate the killing, capture, or incapacitation of enemy fighters—76 PKK members.
They also claimed to have captured 30 rifles and destroyed eight Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
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.
Turkey has in recent months stepped up its air campaign in the Qandil Mountains, the PKK’s headquarters and sanctuary, on the northern border of the Kurdistan Region.
The group has been locked in a decades-long armed conflict with the Turkish government over broader Kurdish rights in the country which tensions increasing after the collapse of a two-year ceasefire in 2015.
Turkey’s military has crossed up to 20 kilometers deep in some areas of the Kurdistan Region to target the PKK, and bombardment from Turkish jets occasionally result in the death of civilians unaffiliated to the Kurdish rebels.
Ankara, as well as the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and NATO, consider the PKK a “terrorist” organization.
Turkish shelling, such as the ones which caused a series of fires last week, induce considerable damage to the wildlife and nature of Kurdistan Region’s mountainous areas.
Earlier, on June 30, shelling on the Turkey-Kurdistan Region border caused the death of an innocent 19-year-old Kurdish woman.
Editing by Nadia Riva