Turkish forces target suspected PKK positions in Kurdistan Region

The Turkish military used F-16 fighter jets, artillery units, and ground troops in the large-scale operation inside the Kurdistan Region.
author_image Kurdistan 24
Turkish artillery shell mountainous region in Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Archive)
Turkish artillery shell mountainous region in Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Turkish military on Saturday launched a large-scale operation, dubbed Claw-Lightning, in the Kurdistan Region close to its northern border, targeting suspected positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“Turkish warplanes shelled a number of villages where PKK bases are located,” Kani Masi town chief Sarbast Sabri told Kurdistan 24. Kani Masi, located in Kurdistan’s Duhok province, has been a frequent target of Turkish operations.

The targeted areas include Ava Shin, Matin, Zab, and Qandil, one security source said, adding that Turkish troops launched a ground offensive in Matin.

“In addition to F-16 fighter jets, border artillery units, fire support elements in the forward base areas, and attack helicopters are participating in the operation,” the pro-Turkey Daily Sabah reported.

The PKK, headquartered in the Zagros Mountains within the Kurdistan Region, has been engaged in a decades-long conflict against Ankara over Kurdish rights in Turkey. The fighting has led to tens of thousands of deaths on both sides. 

Turkey, along with its allies NATO and the United States, views the PKK as a terrorist organization.

Last June, the Turkish military launched a series of airstrikes against alleged PKK positions in the Kurdistan Region, including Sinjar (Shingal), Qandil, Karacak, Zap, Avasin-Basyan, and Hakurk, as part of a military operation which Ankara calls “Operation Eagle Claw.”

During their countless operations, Turkish forces have killed dozens of Kurdish civilians, prompting condemnation from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which has asked the warring sides to avoid conflict in the Kurdistan Region.

Editing by Joanne Stocker-Kelly