Iraqi border guards enforce posts to deter Turkish advance

The Iraqi military have set up border posts to prevent a Turkish cross-border operation against Kurdish militants from advancing further into the north of the country, the Associated Press reported on Friday.

Turkey has established at least a dozen posts in the territory, including in the Zakho district in northern province of Dohuk, as part of a military campaign, dubbed “Operation Claw-Tiger”, targeting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in various regions of northern Iraq, unnamed security officials told AP.

Iraqi border guard commander Delir Zebari told the agency his troops erected two posts along the Khankiri mountain range to “eliminate attacks on civilians in the area”.

Since June 17, at least six Iraqi civilians have been killed as Turkish air strikes pounding PKK targets in the region.

Turkey regularly targets PKK in operations in northern Iraq and on home soil.

The PKK, designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union, has been fighting an insurgency against the Turkish state for four decades.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, including 7,918 members of Turkey’s security forces, 5,557 civilians and 22,101 PKK members between 1981 and 2012, according to a report by Turkish parliament.