Turkish forces, moslty special forces units, have expanded their operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Part (PKK) in northern Iraq, according to reports circulating online.
The Turkish military reportedly seized a few of villages in the areas Kani Rash, Barmiza and Masid after its units had crossed the border with Iraq earlier in March. If reports about the alleged permanent Turkish military presence in the area are confirmed, this will highlight Ankara’s ongoing preparations for a wider military effort against the PKK in northern Iraq.
Turkey considers the PKK and all other PKK-linked militias as terrorist groups. Recently, Turkish forces captured a large area from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG; the Syrian branch of the PKK according to Ankara) in northwestern Syria – Afrin.
Following this success, Turkish top officials claimed that Ankara is going to expand its efforts against Kurdish armed groups to other areas of northern Syria and Iraq.