Turkish strikes in Syria, Iraq kill eight fighters

BAGHDAD (AP) — Kurdish-led armed groups in Iraq and Syria alleged that Turkish airstrikes killed a total of eight of their fighters Friday.

The counterterrorism service of the regional government in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq said in a statement that four members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, were killed and another wounded in a Turkish drone strike in Sharbazher district in Sulaymaniyah in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

The drone targeted a vehicle carrying PKK fighters near the village of Rangina, it said.

Also Friday, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which controls much of northeast Syria, said in a statement that four of its fighters were killed by a Turkish drone attack on the village of Khirbet Khwei in the Amuda region.

The statement accused Turkey of “aiming at undermining security and stability in the region.”

There was no immediate comment from Turkey on the strikes.

The violence was the latest in a monthslong escalation between Turkey and Turkish-backed groups and Kurdish fighters in Syria and Iraq.

Turkey has spent years fighting Kurdish militants in its east and large Kurdish communities live in neighboring Iraq and Syria, where they have a degree of self-rule. Turkey considers the main Kurdish militia in northeast Syria an ally of the outlawed PKK. The PKK has for decades waged an insurgency within Turkey.

Turkish strikes in northern Iraq have been a sore point with the Iraqi government, which has condemned them as a violation of its sovereignty.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit Iraq in the near future, where the PKK activities and Turkish strikes in the Kurdish region are likely to be points of discussion.


Al Abdo reported from Qamishli, Syria.

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