Turkish air strikes kill 13 Kurdish militants in northern Iraq

Ankara has intensified its strikes in Iraq and Syria after a PKK bomb attack last month

The ruins of a medical centre in Skeiniya, northern Iraq, which was struck in a Turkish air strike. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

Thirteen Kurdish militants have been killed in Turkish air strikes in northern Iraq, Ankara said on Friday.

In a statement posted on X, the Turkish Defence Ministry said the militants were members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The strikes hit the Hakurk region of northern Iraq, as well as areas of the country where Turkish forces have been carrying out Operation Claw-Lock.

"Our operations will continue with determination until there is not a single terrorist left in the region," the ministry said.

The PKK, which is considered a terrorist organisation by the EU, US and Turkey, took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have so far been killed in the conflict.

Turkey carries out regular cross-border air strikes and operations against the PKK, which has bases in the mountains of northern Iraq.

Turkey has intensified its attacks on Kurdish militants in Syria and Iraq in recent weeks after a bombing near government buildings in Ankara on October 1.

That attack was claimed by a branch of the PKK.

Last month, Turkey's parliament extended the military's authorisation to launch cross-border operations in Syria and Iraq by two more years.

The operations were first approved in 2013 to support the international campaign against ISIS and have since been renewed annually.

Updated: November 17, 2023, 10:26 AM