Five senior PKK members killed in north Iraq says Turkey

Turkish Defence Ministry confirms airstrikes targeted PKK members

epa08286601 A handout photo made available by the Turkish President Press office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at their group meeting at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, 11 March 2020.  EPA/TURKISH PRESIDENT PRESS OFFICE HANDOUT  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Airstrikes in northern Iraq killed five senior members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Thursday, Turkey's state-run news agency announced.

The statement said one of the slain members was a woman.

Earlier in the day, the Defence Ministry said three PKK members were killed in the Metina and Gara regions after being identified by reconnaissance and surveillance devices. It is unclear if the two incidents are related.

The announcement comes on the heels of intensified Turkish air raids in the region, with the Defence Ministry affirming yesterday their operations against the PKK will continue "resolutely."

Turkey has been conducting near weekly airstrikes against PKK targets.

One day earlier, four PKK members were killed by Turkish airstrikes in northern Iraq's Hakurk region.

Turkey and the PKK have been entangled in an ongoing dispute that has spanned over 30 years. The Kurdish PKK group is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the European Union.

A Turkish court on Monday sentenced the ex-mayor of a major Kurdish city to more than nine years in prison after convicting him of "membership in an armed terror group."

Turkish authorities removed 31 mayors from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) last year over alleged ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), just months after they won local elections in March.

Critics say the suspensions were aimed at removing political opposition to Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party in the country's southeast after poor election results.