26 PKK militants, 1 Turkish soldier killed in military operation
DİYARBAKIR - Agence France-Presse
AA photoAt least 26 militants and a Turkish soldier have been killed in the latest military operation against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Anatolia News Agency reported today.
Security officials earlier said 18 militants and a Turkish soldier had died.
Thousands of ground troops, police forces and village guards are participating in the operation, which was launched late Sept. 5 in the mountainous area in the Şırnak province near the Iraqi border.
Helicopter gunships, F-16 fighter jets and ground troops are targetting PKK hideouts in the region and sources said jets have also bombed militant hideouts inside Iraq just across the border.
Late Sunday, militants armed with rocket launchers and machine guns attacked a security complex in the Beytüşşebap district of Şırnak, which lies about 40 kilometers from the Iraqi border, triggering a firefight that left 10 Turkish soldiers and 20 PKK militants dead.
Some government officials believe that Syria's embattled regime is helping the PKK in retaliation for Turkey's support for rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.