At least 38 Turkish troops killed in past few days: HPG
File Photo - A group of armed Kurdish fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) enter northern Iraq in the Heror area, Duhok, Baghdad, Iraq, May 14, 2013 Photo by AP
Zhyan News Network
SULAIMANI – Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) affiliate said on Monday (April 26) that at least 38 Turkish soldiers were killed in the past few days since Friday in northern Kurdistan Region’s Duhok governorate.
Using Cobra and Sikorsky helicopters and Turkish troops rappelled from choppers, Turkey launched a cross-border land and air operation codenamed Operation Claw-Lightning and Claw-Thunderbolt in PKK-controlled Duhok’s Avasin, Metina and Zap areas on Friday night.
On Monday, PKK-affiliated Firat News Agency (ANF) alleged that five Turkish troops were killed in Zap and Metina.
PKK-affiliated outlets have claimed the Turkish army has used “poisonous gas" at least two times in Avashin area. Zhyan News Network could not affirm the claim.
On Sunday, the Turkish defense ministry said that one of its troops was killed in the clashes with the PKK.
Late on Monday, witnesses told Zhyan News Network that electricity went out in 73 villages in Kani Masi sub-district due to clashes between the PKK and Turkish army forces.
Turkey has yet to comment on its account for the casualties.
According to Kani Masi district Akray Turkish soldiers have entered more than nine kilometers into the Kurdistan Region’s territory.
Turkey’s airstrike and shelling are almost a daily recurrence in the Kurdistan Region, more notably in the border areas.
Cross-border land and air violations by Turkey has tripled on a daily average since 2017, according to records submitted by Iraq to the UN Security Council (UNSC).
Both Iraqi Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have called on Turkey and PKK to take their fight to somewhere else.
No civilians casualties have been reported so far since the new Turkish push began, but at least thirteen civilians were killed in the Turkish airstrikes in Ankara’s previously cross-border operation.
Since July 20, 2015, the conflict between Turkish security forces and the PKK has claimed more than 5,311 lives on both sides in Turkey and the Kurdistan Region, including 541 civilians, 1,279 Turkish state security members, 226 individuals of unknown affiliation and 3,265 PKK members, according to the latest data by the Belgium-based International Crisis Group.
Based in the Region’s mountainous areas, PKK has taken up arms against the Turkish authorities since 1978 for Kurdish rights in the country.
*This story was updated at 09:48 pm EBL on Monday (April 26).