Turkey launched air strikes against Kurdish militants in neighbouring Iraq and Syria

Turkey launched strikes against Syria and Iraq, as it is believed to be in league with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK.

On Saturday, the defence army of Turkey said that Turkey has conducted airstrikes targeting Kurdish militant positions in neighbouring Iraq and Syria. The military operation comes in the aftermath of an attack on a Turkish military base that resulted in the loss of nine soldiers.

The attack on the Turkish military base convoy occurred in a border region, with Kurdish militants. Turkey launched strikes against Syria and Iraq, as it is believed to be in league with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK, which is a banned Kurdish separatist group. Since the 1980s this separatist group has waged insurgency against Turkey.

According to the statements of the defence ministry the aircraft attacked Metina, Hakurk, Quandil in north Iraq, and Gara. However, the defence ministry did not specify the areas in Syria. According to the information provided, fighter jets have destroyed numerous caves, shelters, bunkers, and multiple oil facilities to eliminate terrorist threats against the populace and security forces while safeguarding border security. The statement also noted that in the airstrikes, a significant number of militants were “neutralized.”  In April 2022, an operation Claw-Lock was launched by Turkey in northern Iraq. During this operation, it established several bases in Duhok Governorate. On the other hand, Baghdad has always called for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and objected to their presence.

The airstrikes targeted known PKK strongholds in northern Iraq and regions of Syria, where Kurdish militants have established bases and operational centres. The attackers on Friday tried to invade a military base in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, killing five soldiers and four others who died in other severe injuries. 15 militants also killed said the defense ministry of Turkey. Hakan Fidan, the foreign minister of Turkey, on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter expressed his condolences to the soldiers of Turkey who died. The foreign minister also wrote, “We will fight to the end against the PKK terrorist organization within and outside our borders.”

According to the President’s communication director Fahrettin Altun, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was to conduct a security meeting later Saturday in Istanbul. On the other hand, Ali Yerlikaya, the interior minister made it public that police had restrained 113 people, who were suspected of ties to the PKK. It also carried out raids across 32 provinces of Turkey.

It was still unclear if the attacks of Friday night and the one three weeks ago targeted the same base. Turkey’s Western allies, including the U.S., consider the PKK, which continues to maintain its bases in northern Iraq, considers it as a terror organization. Since the conflict started in the year 1984, thousands of people have died. Meanwhile, regarding the Syrian Kurdish groups’ status, the U.S. and Turkey, have disagreed on it.