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SEPTEMBER 2020

Battle Of Haftanin: Kurdish Forces Claim 22 Turkish Soldiers Were Killed

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Battle Of Haftanin: Kurdish Forces Claim 22 Turkish Soldiers Were Killed

A female Kurdistan Workers Party fighter stands guard at a PKK base on Mount Sinjar in northwest Iraq (Asmaa Waguih/Reuters)

The Kurdish People’s Defense Forces, known as HPG, announced on June 30 that its fighters had killed 22 Turkish service members in a series of new attacks.

The HPG is the military wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is designated by Turkey as a terrorist group. Last month, the Turkish military launched operation Claw-Tiger against the HPG in the northern part of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. The HPG has been referring to the operation as the “battle of Haftanin.”

According to the HPG’s claims, the Turkish service members were killed in Colemerg, Haftanin and Khakurk between June 26 and 29.

These claims appear to be false, as the Turkish Ministry of National Defense usually admits any losses within 24 hours. Furthermore, local Turkish media didn’t report any causalities.

On July 3, the HPG released a new statement on the “battle of Haftanin.” In the statement, the Kurdish guerrilla claimed that it had destroyed three fortified posts of the Turkish Armed Forces on the Dubshka hilltop in Haftanin.

“We couldn’t count the number of the enemies’ dead and wounded,” the statement reads.

Turkey is responding to these attacks by carrying out more airstrikes on the northern part of the Kurdistan Region. Turkish airstrikes have claimed lives of at least seven civilians since the beginning of Operation Claw-Tiger.

While the HPG’s repeated attacks are mostly ineffective, they prove that the guerrilla group has a strong presence in the Kurdistan Region. The Turkish military is still yet to crop the group’s ever growing influence despite its repeated ground and aerial operations.

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