Turkish military ‘neutralizes’ three PKK militants in northern Iraq

Turkish military ‘neutralizes’ three PKK militants in northern Iraq

ANKARA/ HAKKARİ - Anadolu Agency
Turkish military ‘neutralizes’ three PKK militants in northern Iraq

Turkish jets on June 13 “neutralized” three outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants as part of counterterrorism operations in northern Iraq, the military said.

Authorities often use the word “neutralized” in statements to imply that the militants in question were either killed or captured. 

In a statement, the Turkish General Staff said the fighter jets had conducted airstrikes targeting the group in the Zap region.

It said the militants were plotting a terrorist attack.

Airstrikes on PKK targets in northern Iraq have been carried out regularly since July 2015, when a peace process between the Turkish government and the PKK collapsed. 

Turkey recently launched military operations to eliminate the PKK in northern Iraq, targeting its headquarters in the Kandil Mountain region and in the Sinjar province of the country, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on June 11.

Also on June 13, security forces “neutralized” a wanted PKK militant in a counterterrorism operation in the country’s east.

In the statement, the Tunceli Governor’s Office said gendarmerie forces launched an operation targeting PKK militants in artillery shootings.

The wanted militant was identified as Ertan Erol, who was codenamed “Ferhat Dersim” and mentioned in the grey category of the Interior Ministry’s list of wanted militants.

The wanted list is divided into five color-coded categories, with red as the most wanted followed by blue, green, orange and grey.

One soldier killed, four wounded in PKK attack in Hakkari

Meanwhile, one soldier was killed and four others injured in an attack by PKK militants in the eastern Hakkari province on June 14, officials said.

A statement by the provincial governor’s office said the militants launched a rocket attack on the Zengil Tepe Military Command in the Çukurca district, bordering northern Iraq. 

An operation has been launched to capture the militants in the region.

Officials also said that eight Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants, including one woman, who were apprehended in Syria’s Afrin region, were arrested.

Turkish security forces captured the militants during a search mission in Afrin.

The militants, who officials said took part in actions against the Turkish forces during “Operation Olive Branch,” were transferred to the gendarmerie headquarters in the Hassa district of Turkey’s southern Hatay province.

A court in Hatay ordered the arrest of the eight militants.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” to remove the YPG from northwestern Syria’s Afrin region.

On March 18, day 58 of the operation, Turkish troops and Free Syrian Army members captured the town of Afrin. Some 4,000 militants were “neutralized.”