The People’s Defence Forces (Hêzên Parastina Gel, HPG) have reported a significant escalation in the Turkish forces’ military operations against Kurdish guerrilla positions in the Zap and Metîna mountainous regions in Iraqi Kurdistan close to the Turkish border. The Turkish forces have reportedly suffered important losses in the ongoing conflict.
Fourteen Turkish soldiers were killed, one was injured, and a Skorsky helicopter was hit in the Mount Judi (Cudi) area in the Zap region on Friday, according to the HPG. Additionally, a surveillance camera system, a mortar weapon, and military and vital materials belonging to the Turkish forces were destroyed. On 19 July, two Turkish soldiers were killed, and one position was destroyed in an action in Metîna.
Contrary to the claims of the HPG, the Turkish Ministry of Defence has confirmed only one loss. Reports indicate that access to the conflict area by journalists is restricted by the Turkish state.
The ministry on Saturday confirmed the death of one soldier, Sergeant Enes Kırmızıkoç, who was allegedly injured when he was struck by a helicopter blade on 21 July.
Eight Turkish soldiers were killed and a Skorsky helicopter hit in a separate incident in the Zap region, Fırat News Agency (ANF) reported.
The Turkish Armed Forces have been conducting attacks as part of the ongoing Operation Claw-Lock, which was initiated in 2019. This series of cross-border military operations has seen Ankara intensify its efforts to target Kurdish forces in the region over the past few years, with a noticeable escalation of military operations against Kurdish guerrilla positions in Iraqi Kurdistan during the past week.