Turkey carried out air strikes on nearly 30 targets in northern Iraq and Syria overnight following escalating clashes between Turkish forces and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The strikes were in response to the killing of nine Turkish soldiers in clashes at a military base near the northern Iraqi region of Metina, the Turkish Defence Ministry said on Saturday.
The Defence Ministry said the airstrikes targeted 29 sites, including “caves, bunkers, shelters and oil facilities”, which Turkish authorities say were used by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Syrian Kurdish militia allied with US forces fighting the Islamic State (ISIS).
The heightened tensions prompted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to convene an emergency security meeting in Istanbul to address rising casualties in the ongoing anti-PKK operation, known as Operation Claw-Lock.
Ankara has been maintaining numerous military posts in Iraqi Kurdistan for the past 25 years in the long-running conflict against the PKK.