ANKARA: The Turkish military killed more than 30 Kurdish fighters overnight in a cross-border raid in northern Iraq where outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants are holed up, the president said on Tuesday.
“We carried out cross-border operations overnight. Over 30 terrorists were killed,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised speech.
Turkish warplanes have pounded PKK bases in several regions in northern Iraq and earlier this month, its special forces crossed into Iraq to pursue Kurdish militants as part of an “anti-terrorist” campaign to flush the PKK out of its strongholds at home and abroad.
The group has hit back hard, killing dozens of police and soldiers in almost daily bomb and shooting attacks since July, which have left a two-year ceasefire in tatters.
Over 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK took up arms in 1984 demanding an independent state for Kurds.
Since then the group has narrowed its demands to greater autonomy and cultural rights.