Turkish army kills Kurdish fighters

Clash near border with Iraq leaves six separatists and one army officer dead.

    Ankara blames PKK rebels for nearly
    40,000 deaths since 1984 [Reuters]

    "Operations against the separatist terrorist organisation will continue without respite... in order to ensure peace and security for our citizens in the region," a statement from the military said on Tuesday.

     

    The 13 deaths and another attack later that killed 12 soldiers prompted calls in Turkey for a military incursion against PKK bases in northern Iraq.

     

    The Kurds

    Profiles:
    - The Kurds


    - The PKK

     

    Focus:
    - Dreams of independence


    - Turkey's lonely Kurdish villages


    - Turkey's Kurds try to be heard

    Programmes:
    - In search of Kurdistan

    On Tuesday, a Turkish soldier was killed and six wounded when a mortar shell exploded in a military zone in the neighbouring Hakkari province, state news agency Anatolian reported.

     

    Turkey has massed troops along the border with Iraq saying that thousands of PKK fighters were operating from bases across the border.

     

    Ankara blames the PKK, which is seeking a separate Kurdish homeland in southeastern Turkey, for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people since it began its armed struggle in 1984.

     

    On Saturday, the Turkish military said it fired on a group of about 50 to 60 PKK rebels inside Iraqi territory, inflicting "significant losses".

     

    Iraqi Kurdish authorities denied claims of Turkish incursions while the PKK acknowledged the attacks but said it suffered no casualties.

     

    Over the weekend Abdullah Gul, Turkey's president, reasserted what he said was his country's "readiness and right" to intervene in northern Iraq.

     

    Last week, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister, said the cabinet had authorised the armed forces to conduct a cross-border operation.

     

    The US and Iraq are anxious to avert a major Turkish incursion into northern Iraq for fear of destabilising the calmest region in the country.

     

    Ankara has made many threats of military action but, under heavy US pressure, has so far shown restraint.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    As the oil-rich country fails to pay its debt, we examine what happens next and what it means for its people.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.