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Turkish air forces strike northern Iraq, kill 9 PKK members

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Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) issued a statement on Friday saying that a series of airstrikes have been carried out over the Kandil mountain area in Iraq, which is known as the base of terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), killing nine.

According to the TSK statement, the airstrikes took place on June 13 and only targeted the Kandil region, while attacks on some other areas are still ongoing.

The PKK is designated as a “terrorist organization” by the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), as well as Turkey. The 32-year-old conflict, which has claimed more than 40,000 lives, halted in March 2013 as part of the settlement process initiated between the PKK and the Turkish government. However, the PKK ended the ceasefire in the summer of 2015.

There have been repeated clashes between security forces and PKK members since the cease-fire collapsed in July 2015. Nearly 200,000 locals in the Southeast have been forced to leave their homes due to fighting and curfews.

In the recent weeks, the Turkish General Staff released a statement, stating that a total of 1,000 members of the PKK were killed in the operations in the southeastern provinces of Şırnak and Mardin between March 14 and June 3.

The authorities have been imposing curfews in towns and districts to flush PKK militants from urban areas in Turkey’s mostly Kurdish Southeast since the collapse of the peace process.

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