An independent Turkish media outlet has voiced protest over increasing casualties in the Turkish military’s ongoing military campaign in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).
The nationalist daily Yeniçağ, said on Thursday on its Twitter account:
Its tweet “Are you aware that in only 120 days we have lost 52 martyrs: 48 soldiers and four security guards?” was retweeted hundreds of times very quickly.
The latest Turkish incursion into the KRI, dubbed ‘operation Claw-Lock’ by the Turkish authorities, was launched in April using warplanes, helicopters, armed drones and large numbers of Turkish troops, allegedly to combat Kurdish fighters affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), particularly in mountainous regions of Zap and Avasin.
Though initial statements by representatives of the Turkish administration boosted nationalist sentiment and stepped up expectations that the technological superiority and numbers of Turkish troops would bring about a swift victory over the Kurdish fighters, the first phases of the campaign saw no significant advances on the part of the Turkish military.
The official figure for Turkish fatalities may not reflect the actual situation, but is still dramatic enough to create disillusionment and spark reaction among the nationalist Turkish public.
The issue of civilian losses suffered in the conflict is also a grave matter, but the nationalist independent and government media in Turkey do not acknowledge the role of the Turkish military in such cases.
Recently nine Arab tourists were killed and 23 were injured in an artillery strike in Duhok in the KRI, which according to the government of Iraq was launched by the Turkish military.