On July 28, a Turkish service member died from injuries he sustained in a clash with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq’s northern region, where the Turkish military has been conducting Operation Claw-Lock.
The Turkish Ministry identified the service member as Staff Sergeant Batuhan Simsek. In a statement, the ministry said that Simsek was seriously wounded when PKK fighters in the Operation Claw-Lock zone opened harassing fire on Turkish soldiers. The service member, who was taken to a hospital, could not be saved despite all medical interventions.
Simsek was the sevenths Turkish service member to be killed in northern Iraq this week, and the overall 43th since the beginning of Operation Claw-Lock in mid-April.
Turkey acknowledged losing a service member and four security officers in northern Iraq on July 25, and another service member on July 27. Some of casualties were reportedly killed in attacks by the PKK. However, the rest were allegedly killed in rocket and drone attacks which were carried out by pro-Iranian factions. The attack targeted Turkish military bases in the provinces of Duhok and Nineveh.
The recent attacks by the PKK and pro-Iranian factions were a response to the July 20 Turkish strikes on Zakho district in Duhok. The strikes, which targeted a number of tourist resorts, claimed the lives of nine civilians. Following the strikes, Baghdad asked Ankara to apologize and withdraw its troops from northern Iraq.
Turkey appears to be determined to continue its operations against the PKK in northern Iraq, despite its recent losses and political pressure from the Iraqi government.
- In Video: Iraqi Airstrikes Kill Eight ISIS Terrorists Who Were Hiding In Nineveh Cave
- Series Of Rocket & Drone Attacks Hit Turkey’s Bases, Consulate In Iraq (Videos)