Over 30 PKK militants killed in airstrikes: Erdoğan
ANKARAOver 30 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have been killed in cross-border airstrikes, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during an 11th gathering with a large group of muhtars at the presidential palace.
“I must clearly say that operations are relentlessly continuing both inside and outside the country. We also conducted cross-border operations [on Sept. 28], and over 30 terrorists were killed. But we will not stop here.
There is no lack of energy. We will continue in the same way,” said Erdoğan, vowing to determinedly continue operations targeting PKK militants, echoing previous administrations since the conflict began in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, the Turkish General Staff announced on Sept. 29 that a total of 25 PKK militants had been killed in air operations in northern Iraq and in the country’s southeastern region.
According to the statement on its official website, 19 members of the PKK were killed in airstrikes conducted in the Gara region of northern Iraq. The Turkish army also added that another six PKK militants “were captured dead” in operations conducted in the Çukurca region of the southeastern province of Hakkari.
In addition, the General Staff said soldiers defused an explosive placed on the Tatvan-Muş railway in the Güroymak district of the eastern province of Bitlis. Two security personnel were also wounded in an attack conducted by improvised explosives in Bitlis’ Tatvan district, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, speaking to Özgür Gündem newspaper on Sept. 29, hawkish senior PKK figure Murat Karayılan challenged the Turkish security forces and said the outlawed group will continue its military actions.
Speaking about the recent clashes between the security forces and the PKK in the Beytüşşebap district of southeastern Şırnak province, Karayılan vowed to stage attacks in metropolitan centers if the security forces continue operations in cities that claim the lives of PKK militants.
Meanwhile, a curfew was declared as of 11:00 a.m. on Sept. 29 in the Bismil district of Diyarbakır following ongoing clashes with PKK militants.
Elif Şimşek, 9, and Agit Yıldız, 22, were killed during the clashes in the district on Sept. 27. Meanwhile, Halil Kurtdiş, 19, and Berat Güzel, 16, were also killed during clashes late on Sept. 28.