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Turkish forces seize northern Iraq village as they continue anti-PKK operations

This undated file picture shows Turkish military forces in an undisclosed location in northern Iraq. (Photo by Anadolu news agency)

Turkish military forces have reportedly established control over a village in Iraq's northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region as they are pressing ahead with a military campaign in the area against members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group.

Security officials in the Kurdistan region and local sources, both speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Arabic-language Baghdad Today news agency on Monday that Turkish troops have seized the village of Barawi Bala overlooking Mount Kista in Dohuk province.

They added that Turkish fighter jets have been intensively striking the mountainous areas of Mount Kara as fierce clashes are going on between Turkish soldiers and PKK members.

Local officials and sources pointed out that even the Turkish army has made progress in the strategic Mateen Mountain, but it is facing stiff resistance from Kurdish militants.

Earlier in the day, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that a Turkish soldier had lost his life in northern Iraq when an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by PKK terrorists went off.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced early on Saturday that his country’s forces had launched operations Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim in northern Iraq in pursuit of PKK militants.

Akar said on Sunday that Turkish forces have killed 31 PKK terrorists so far in northern Iraq as part of Turkey's new operations there.

Militants of the PKK — designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union — regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.

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

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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