Turkish security forces have killed a high-ranking member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group during a counter-terrorism operation, supported by fighter jets, in the country’s northern province of Gumushane.
Gumushane Provincial Governor Okay Memis said Baris Oner, better known by the nom de guerre Turk Tarik, was found dead in the Kurtun district of the province following an offensive conducted at around 6 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) on Wednesday.
The slain PKK militant was on the red category of Turkey’s terror blacklist.
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.