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Two Turkish soldiers killed in northern Iraq: Ankara

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar (1st from the right) visits Turkish troops at the border with Iraq, in Hakkari province, Turkey. (Photo by AP)

Two Turkish forces have been killed in northern Iraq during Ankara’s military operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group which take place without Baghdad’s consent, reports say.

Turkey’s defense ministry said on Sunday that one of its soldiers was killed on Saturday when an explosive device exploded while he and other soldiers were passing near it.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said another Turkish soldier succumbed to injuries he sustained during fighting on Friday.

The latest fatalities bring to eight the number of Turkish troops who lost their lives in the region since Tuesday.

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

In response, the Turkish military has occupied areas in northern Iraq, where it regularly conducts attacks against purported PKK positions without the Arab country’s consent.

Baghdad has repeatedly condemned Ankara’s ongoing military operations in northern Iraq, warning that Turkey intends to seize control of the strategic northwestern city of Mosul and annex it to its own territory.

Iraqi resistance groups have also time and again warned Turkey of the consequences of its incursions into their country.

Turkey has also violated Syria’s territorial integrity by deploying its military forces there with the professed aim of fighting PKK militants, drawing strong condemnations from the Damascus government.

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