On June 17, a Turkish combat drone targeted a vehicle in the outskirts of the town of Kalar in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
In a statement, the Directorate General of Counter Terrorism in Kurdistan said that the drone strike destroyed the vehicle, an SUV, killing four people who were aboard it. A fifth passenger survived the strike with light wounds and was taken to a nearby hospital.
According to the security directorate, the casualties were members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is designed by Turkey as a terrorist group.
“According to the information, the targets were PKK fighters and were targeted by Turkish army drones,” the directorate’s statement reads.
Just a day earlier, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense said that one of its service members was killed by the PKK while taking part in Operation Claw-Lock in Kurdistan. The operation, which was launched on April 17, is meant to neutralize PKK cells in the areas of Metina, Zap and Avashin Basyan.
The new casualty brought to 27 the number of Turkish troops killed in the Kurdistan Region since the beginning of Operation Claw-Lock.
This was Turkey’s second deadly strike on northern Iraq in less than a week. On June 15, a Yazidi child was killed when two Turkish strikes targeted the so-called People’s Council in the town of Snuny, which is located just ten kilometers away from the border with Syria. The strikes were condemned by all sides in Iraq including pro-Iranian factions.
Turkey’s recent strikes will likely provoke a serious response by the PKK, or even by pro-Iranian factions. Turkish bases in northern Iraq were targeted with rockets and drones on several occasions after the start of Operation Claw-Lock.
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