Airstrikes kill about 400 PKK members

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ANKARA, Aug 9: Some 400 fighters belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have reportedly been killed in Turkey’s airstrikes in northern Iraq over the past two weeks.
Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency said on Sunday that “so far 390 terrorists have been rendered incapable of causing harm and another 400 have been injured, with 150 suffering serious injuries,” AFP reported.
The report further noted that at least four PKK leaders and 30 female fighters were among those killed in Turkey’s airstrikes.
According to the report, at least 20 Turkish security forces have been killed in the latest cycle of violence.
Turkey recently launched airstrikes against purported ISIL targets in Syria as well as PKK positions in Iraq, after a deadly bomb attack attributed to ISIL Takfiris left 32 people dead in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc, across the border from the northern Syrian town of Kobani.
On August 6, Selahattin Demirtas, the co-chair of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), accused the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of using the so-called anti-ISIL fight as a cover to pursue its main goal of targeting the PKK and undermining the HDP.
He also called on the international community to censure Ankara’s new “unjust war” on Kurds.
Also on August 7, the HDP in a statement dismissed Ankara’s claims that its attacks earlier this month targeted positions of the PKK in northern Iraq, saying unarmed civilians have fallen victim to the raids.
“Those who lost their lives due to the bombing were civilians and unarmed people. The responsibility of the airstrike that resulted in the massacre of civilians rests with Ankara,” the statement noted.
A shaky ceasefire that had stood since 2013 was declared as null by PKK following the Turkish airstrikes against the group.
The PKK had been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s. The conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead.

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