Kurdish fighters killed after attacks on Turkish troops

The incidents are the latest in a recent surge of violence between Turkish security forces and the PKK.

    Turkey has been conducting air strikes against the PKK and ISIL [AP]
    Turkey has been conducting air strikes against the PKK and ISIL [AP]

    Seven Kurdish fighters have been killed after they launched attacks on military outposts in eastern Turkey overnight, according to a statement by the Turkish armed forces.

    The attacks are the latest in a recent surge of violence between Turkish security forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) group that has undermined a near three-year-old peace process.

    US, Turkey differ over ISIL strategy in northern Syria

    In the southeastern town of Silopi, near the borders with Iraq and Syria, PKK fighters opened fire with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades on a military base, triggering a firefight in which four fighters were killed, the general staff of Turkey's armed forces said in a statement.

    The PKK also launched similar simultaneous attacks on Wednesday night on a military base and police station in the town of Diyadin in Agri province near the Iranian border, and three fighters were killed in the subsequent clash, it said.

    Since last month, Turkey has been pursuing air campaigns targeting the PKK in northern Iraq and another against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in the north of Syria.

    RELATED: Turkey and PKK 'back to square one'

    The PKK stepped up its attacks in the country in July after a ceasefire between the two sides practically ended.

    Ankara has also opened its air bases for use in US-led coalition air strikes against ISIL. 

    Over 30 years of war

    The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and the EU, took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984 and tens of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict.

    Ankara launched a peace process with jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 2012 and a ceasefire declared by him in 2013 had largely held until hostilities resumed last month.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevult Cavusoglu said that Turkey did not expect to deploy ground forces in Syria to fight ISIL but that option should remain on the table.

    "Right now, no ground operation is envisaged, but in the future whatever is needed to fight ISIL - including ground operations - should be done. This is my personal opinion," Cavusoglu told HaberTurk TV in an interview.

    The US launched its first manned air strikes against ISIL targets from Turkish territory on Wednesday, the US military said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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