Turkey sends ground troops to northern Iraq amid intensified PKK-led attacks

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Turkish soldiers in Hakkari province. File photo

ARA News

URFA – At least 14 Turkish policemen were killed and four injured in a new attack by rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the southeastern province of Iğdır, officials said on Tuesday. 

The Turkish army said in a statement that PKK rebels bombed a security vehicle with improvised explosive devises.

“The attack claimed lives of 14 policemen and wounded others in the Iğdır province,” it said. 

The explosive devises were detonated by PKK fighters when a Turkish security vehicle approached the village of Hesen Khan in Iğdır. 

This comes only two days after PKK launched a similar attack on Turkish army forces in Hakkari province, where 16 soldiers were killed. 

The PKK has been staging daily attacks against the Turkish armed forces as the military presses an over month-long operation against the group in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq.

Turkish ground forces have crossed into Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish militants for the first time since a ceasefire two years ago.

Government officials said the incursion was a “short-term” measure to hunt down PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) rebels.

Turkish warplanes also launched a wave of air strikes on PKK bases in northern Iraq on Tuesday.

“Turkish security forces crossed the Iraqi border as part of the hot pursuit of PKK terrorists who were involved in the most recent attacks,” a government source told AFP. “This is a short-term measure intended to prevent the terrorists’ escape.” 

Turkish officials reported that two special forces units, supported by warplanes, had attacked two groups of militants.

More than 35 rebels were killed in air raids on bases at Qandil, Basyan, Avashin and Zap early on Tuesday. 

Reporting by: Jan Nasro

Source: ARA News 

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