SULAIMANI – The US State Department said on Monday (February 15) that it condemns the killing of Turkish “citizens” during a Turkish operation against the PKK in the Kurdistan Region.
“If reports of the death of Turkish civilians at the hands of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization, are confirmed, we condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” the US State Department said in a statement.
“We stand with our NATO Ally Turkey and extend our condolences to the families of those lost in the recent fighting,” it added.
Both Turkey and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) blame each other of killing 13 Turks held captive by PKK in a cave in northeast Duhok, Kurdistan Region.
A group affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) denied on Sunday (February 14) killing of the Turks who were found dead in a cave in the Kurdistan Region.
Turkish Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar accused the PKK of executing the Turks. Reuters cited a security source as saying that there were Turkish intelligence, military and police personnel among the 13 found dead in the cave.
A number of the 13 Turks were killed in Turkish aerial and ground attacks launched on the camp where the Turks held captive, People’s Protection Forces Center (NPG) said in a statement.
“The intensified airstrikes launched by the invader military of Turkey in four days on the captives’ camp was in an aim to kill all the captives,” it added.
“Turkey wanted to permanently remain in Gara, but the resistance of the Guerrillas didn’t allow them,” the NPG said.
Turkish Defense Ministry on Sunday (February 14) announced completion of second phase of “Operation Claw-Eagle” in Duhok’s Gara mountain against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
NPG said a “failure” in the recent Turkish anti-PKK operation in the Kurdistan Region caused the withdrawal of the Turkish military in the area.
Hulusi Akar, Turkish Defense Minister said 48 PKK fighters were killed in the operation and the region where they operated was taken under control, their ammunition stores and shelters destroyed.
According to the Turkish minister three Turkish soldiers were killed and three were wounded during the operation, in the Kurdistan Region’s Gara mountain.
“The operation has been completed. Our land and air elements returned to their bases and barracks safely,” Akar said