Eight Turkish security personnel killed in operations in two weeks

The Turkish military lost eight personnel during the first two weeks of 2020 in cross-border operations against armed Kurdish groups in Iraq and Syria.

Two Turkish soldiers were killed in northern Iraq in clashes with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Iraq as part of a cross-border operation called Operation Claw on Jan. 2, Turkey's Defence Ministry said.

Turkey and the PKK have been engaged in a decades-long war which has caused more than 40,000 deaths. Ankara, Washington and Brussels have designated the PKK as a terrorist organisation.

Four Turkish soldiers lost their lives in a car bomb attack in northeast Syria on Jan. 9, the ministry announced. Turkish media reported that the attack took place when Turkish forces were conducting a roadside security check for members of the People's Protection Units (YPG) in the village of Arbani, near the city of Ras al-Ayn.

Ankara views the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which spearheaded the U.S.-led war against Islamic State, as a terrorist group due to its links to the PKK.

Four days after the last incident, a Turkish soldier and a security guard were killed in the Haftanin region of northern Iraq in the operations against the PKK, the ministry said on Jan.13.