ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters on Sunday killed and injured 10 Turkish soldiers during clashes in the Kurdistan Region, the Turkish defense ministry said.
The confrontation came as part of the third phase of Ankara’s so-called “Operation Claw” military campaign, which the army began in May to stamp out PKK fighters operating within the harsh mountainous areas of the region.
The ministry said their injured personnel were admitted to a hospital.
It also said the Duhok province’s Sinat-Haftanin, or Batifa subdistrict, would be the location of the latest phase, while the first and second phases took place in the Hakurk area, north of Qandil, where the PKK’s headquarters is located.
Earlier on Sunday, the Turkish military said its warplanes “neutralized” nine PKK members in its latest raids inside the neighboring Kurdistan Region, using the term Turkish officials routinely use to indicate that an individual has been killed, incapacitated, or captured.
The PKK is engaged in a decades-long insurgency against Turkey over Kurdish rights and self-rule in a conflict that has resulted in the death of over 40,000 people on both sides.
Turkish bombing in the Qandil Mountains and sprawling border areas has become commonplace since the peace process between the PKK and Ankara collapsed in 2015.
In the past year, Turkey has carried out military operations against PKK fighters based in the Kurdistan Region with continued regularity, crossing into the region up to 20 kilometers deep in some areas to target the guerilla group.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany