ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish warplanes have struck an “important” gathering of members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on the Qandil mountain range, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.
“During these last operations, we hit one of their [high-profile] meetings,” Erdogan said during an interview with Turkish broadcaster Kanal 7.
“We have not received the results [of the strikes] yet, but it is certain that we struck our target.”
He mentioned that high-ranking members of the PKK were believed to be at the meeting.
The Turkish President last week revealed Ankara had launched a new military operation against the PKK in the Qandil Mountains and Sinjar (Shingal).
Turkey, along with NATO and the US, views the PKK as a ‘terrorist’ organization. Its members have been waging an almost four-decade-long insurgency against Ankara which has resulted in over 40,000 casualties on both sides.
Bombardments by Turkish warplanes have been ongoing in the region since July 2015, when clashes between the PKK and Turkish forces resumed after a tenuous two-year ceasefire broke down.
In a statement, the Turkish military announced that a total of 93 PKK fighters had been “neutralized” in operations carried out during the second week of June.
The term “neutralize” is commonly used by Turkish officials to refer to enemy fighters killed, captured, or incapacitated. The identities of the “senior members” were not made public as of yet.
It also added that three Turkish soldiers were killed and 18 others wounded during the campaign.
The PKK, in their statement, claimed to have killed 20 Turkish soldiers on the Kurdistan Region border and Turkey’s Kurdish southeastern region over the past few days.
Editing by Nadia Riva