The Kurdish news agency ANF published footage on Monday that it reported as showing Turkish military forces burning the body of one of their own soldiers killed during operations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Turkey launched Operation Claw-Lock against Kurdish guerrillas in the region in April, and it has yet to end the cross-border assault. The Turkish Defence Ministry says its forces have sustained only light casualties, but its opponents, the People’s Defence Forces (HPG), say thousands of Turkish soldiers have died in the fighting.
The footage, which is said to have been filmed by two female guerrillas, who can be heard commenting, during a Turkish operation in the Metina mountain area of northern Iraq’s Duhok governorate, shows a group of soldiers making its way through a vegetated, mountainous area.
The clip later cuts to footage of a fire on the mountainside, with the object in the flames blurred out. The commentators express their shock at the sight, which they say is of a burning corpse.
While released on Monday, the images are said to have been shot during fighting on 11 September, when the HPG says it repulsed an attempted Turkish advance in the area.
The HPG’s Press Liaison Centre said in a statement that at least 10 Turkish soldiers, including one ranking officers, were killed during the operation.
Then, the HPG said, the Turkish military took drastic action to prevent Kurdish guerrillas from reaching the slain soldiers by launching an aerial assault on the area where they had fallen.
“The Turkish army bombed the place where the corpses of the soldiers were with warplanes and howitzers so that the weapons and materials on them would not fall into the hands of our forces,” the HPG’s statement said.
“After bombing the area with warplanes and howitzers, the Turkish army burned the dead bodies of soldiers by bombing and setting fire to the place where their own soldiers were, with incendiary rockets dropped from attack helicopters,” it said.