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4 more Turkish soldiers killed in operations in Iraq

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Four more Turkish soldiers were killed and two others were injured in a clash with Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, Turkey’s defense ministry said late on Sunday.

The ministry said the incident took place in an area where Turkish forces are deployed as part of Operation Claw-Lock.

Operation Claw-Lock, an air and ground offensive that targets hideouts of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Metina region of Iraq, was launched on April 18.

The latest incident brings to five the number of Turkish troops killed in the region since the beginning of September.

One soldier was killed on Sept. 4 when a Turkish military helicopter crashed during an operation.

The PKK, which has been waging a bloody campaign in Turkey’s Southeast since 1984, is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is accused by his critics of fomenting nationalism in the country through such military operations in neighboring Syria and Iraq ahead of the 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections to win more public support.

Opinion polls show Erdoğan and his election ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), losing considerable support amid the rising cost of living and a record annual inflation of around 80 percent.

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