Turkey ‘neutralises’ seven PKK militants in northern Iraq

Turkish forces “neutralised” seven militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) during an ongoing cross-border operation in northern Iraq, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Sunday, citing intelligence sources.

The military, backed up by intelligence-gathering, targeted PKK forces in two operations in northern Iraq’s Hakurk region on Aug. 13 and 14, Anadolu said.

Turkey commonly uses the term “neutralised” to refer to enemy killed, but it can also refer to those wounded or captured.

Turkey launched Operation Claw-Tiger on June 17, a cross-border ground operation targeting the outlawed PKK, which has been fighting an insurgency against the Turkish state for four decades - and its affiliates in various regions of northern Iraq. The PKK is recognised as a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union. The PKK denies that it targets civilians and says it is fighting a legitimate armed struggle on behalf of the Kurds.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the Turkish state’s conflict with the PKK and Kurdish fighters have largely been directed from within Iraq.