Turkey Escalates Military Response with Airstrikes on Kurdish Groups in Syria and Iraq After 12 Soldiers’ Deaths

According to the Turkish Ministry of Defence, clashes with the PKK resulted in the unfortunate deaths of twelve Turkish soldiers. In light of this, Turkey took swift action by carrying out a series of air raids and operations in the area.

Turkey has taken a decisive step in response to the deaths of 12 Turkish soldiers by conducting airstrikes on 71 locations believed to be associated with Kurdish groups in Syria and northern Iraq. This move marks a notable escalation of tensions in the region, as it comes as a direct retaliation against the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) following recent clashes in northern Iraq.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Defence, clashes with the PKK resulted in the unfortunate deaths of twelve Turkish soldiers. In light of this, Turkey took swift action by carrying out a series of air raids and operations in the area. Defence Minister Yasar Guler emphasized that the attacks led to the “neutralization” of at least 59 Kurdish fighters, a term used by Ankara to denote the killing or capture of enemy combatants.

In a video message, Guler expressed the profound grief felt by the nation but also highlighted their unwavering determination to seek justice for the loss of their brave soldiers and to continue doing the same in the future.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday that there has been a significant escalation in military operations within the last 36 hours. He expressed his determination to seek justice for “our fallen heroes”. According to Turkish authorities, fighters associated with the PKK made an unsuccessful attempt to infiltrate a Turkish base in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq on Friday. Tragically, six Turkish soldiers lost their lives during the ensuing confrontation, and an additional six soldiers were killed in subsequent clashes with Kurdish fighters the next day.

According to a representative from the Syrian Democratic Forces, a minimum of eight innocent civilians lost their lives during the airstrikes in northeast Syria on Monday. Turkey maintains that it takes precautions to prevent harm to civilians and damage to cultural sites. The PKK, a rebel group based in northern Iraq, has been engaged in a rebellion against the Turkish government for several decades.

Ankara, the European Union, and the United States consider the PKK a terrorist organization. This conflict, which commenced in 1984, has resulted in over 40,000 fatalities. However, Turkey and the US hold differing opinions regarding the status of Syrian Kurdish groups, who have been allied with the US in the battle against the Islamic State in Syria.

Turkey perceives the PKK as a threat to its national security and has established control over areas in northern Syria while maintaining military bases in northern Iraq to counter alleged PKK and affiliated groups near its border.