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Airstrikes kill 11 PKK terrorists in SE Turkey, northern Iraq

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows Turkish fighter jets flying in formation. (Photo by Anadolu news agency)

Turkish military aircraft have killed nearly a dozen members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group when they separately carried out a string of airstrikes against terrorist hideouts in Iraq's northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region as well as southeastern Turkey.

The Turkish General Staff, in a message published on its official Twitter page, said fighter jets had conducted airstrikes on Tuesday and Wednesday on northern Iraq's Qandil, Zap-Avashin Basyan and Gara regions in addition to the rural areas of Turkey's southeastern provinces of Sirnak.

The statement added that militant hideouts and weapons caches were also destroyed in the airstrikes.

On July 1, the Turkey's General Staff stated that Turkish military aircraft had “neutralized” eight PKK militants in northern Iraq as well as Turkey's southeastern provinces of Sirnak and Van.

The Turkish military generally uses the term "neutralize" to signify that the militants were killed, captured or surrendered.

PKK militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.

Turkey, along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a terrorist group and banned it. The militant group has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.

A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.

Over the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria.

More than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.


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