5 Turkish soldiers killed in PKK attack in N. Iraq

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Five Turkish soldiers were killed and eight others injured on Friday in clashes with militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.

The clashes erupted after PKK militants tried to infiltrate a Turkish base in the “Operation Claw-Lock” zone, the ministry said in a statement.

All injured soldiers were being treated and three of them were seriously wounded, it said.

At least 12 PKK members were “neutralized” as the Turkish forces retaliated, the statement said, adding that the clashes continue in the region.

Turkish authorities often use the term “neutralize” in their statements to imply the “terrorists” in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

In a separate conflict with the PKK in the same operation zone in Iraq, one Turkish soldier was killed and another one was wounded on Thursday, the ministry said earlier.

The Turkish forces frequently carry out ground operations, airstrikes, and artillery bombardments against the group’s positions in northern Iraq, especially the Qandil Mountains, the main base of the PKK.

The Turkish government launched Operation Claw-Lock in northern Iraq in April 2022 to fight against the PKK.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States, and the European Union, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for more than three decades.

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