Late on August 12, a Turkish soldier was killed in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh as a result of a mortar attack.
In a statement, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense said that the soldier was mortally wounded in the attack which targeted a military post in the town of Zlican. The Turkish Armed Forces have been conducting a military operation, codenamed “Claw-Lightning,” against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) cells in the area since last April.
The ministry held the PKK responsible for the deadly attack and said that retaliatory strikes were carried out against the perpetrators. Three PKK fighters were allegedly “neutralized,” meaning killed or wounded.
— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) August 13, 2021
Despite Turkey’s claims, some sources in Iraq speculated that the mortar attack was in fact carried out by pro-Iranian forces.
The Sabereen News channel on Telegram noted that Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba recently warned Turkey against conducting more operations in northern Iraqi.
Turkey’s repeated operations against the PKK in northern Iraq appears to be leading to more problems than solutions. The Kurdish guerilla group continues to operate in the region with much freedom. At the same time, Turkish attacks are provoking pro-Iranian forces as well as the local Kurdish population.
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