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Turkey claims ‘neutralized’ 3 PKK members in Duhok’s Mount Gara

  2021-05-16  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Two Turkish F-16 jets are seen in this undated photo. (Sabah File Photo)
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – At least three Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members were “neutralized" in an airstrike by the Turkish warplanes in Gara mountain range in Kurdistan Region’s Amedi district, the Turkish defense ministry said on Sunday (May 16).

Turkey uses “neutralized" to mean PKK members in question surrendered, were killed or captured.

"Our fight against terrorism continues effectively and decisively," the ministry added, reported by the Turkish state-owned Anadolu Agency (A.A.). 

There was not a confirmation from the PKK as of reporting the news. 

Since April 23, Turkey has started a land and air operation against PKK in Duhok’s border areas and erected at least four new military bases adding up to almost forty others in the Kurdistan Region. 

Two villages have been totally evacuated in Kani Masi sub-district amid fear of ongoing Turkey’s artillery fires and airstrikes. 

On Friday, Turkey announced its official ninth casualty among its army.

Murat Karayilan, a senior PKK leader, said during a program with PKK-affiliated Sterk TV that they have lost eighteen members since the outset of the new operation and six others are still unaccounted. 

However, both sides claim more casualties on each other's ranks. 

PKK has started an armed struggle for Kurdish cultural rights against the Turkish authorities since 1984. It is headquartered in the Kurdistan Region’s mountainous areas. 

Turkey’s airstrike and shelling are almost a daily recurrence in the Kurdistan Region, more notably in the border areas. It launches cross-border operations every now and then.

No civilian 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 previous cross-border operation in 2020. 

Cross-border land and air violations by Turkey has tripled  on  a daily average 2017, according to records submitted by Iraq to the UN Security Council (UNSC).

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.

(Zhyan English)