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Turkish Warplanes Strike Targets in Iraq, 19 Fighters 'Neutralized'

Turkish Warplanes Strike Targets in Iraq, 19 Fighters 'Neutralized'

Thursday, 30 May, 2019 - 10:45
Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Leyla Guven, who was jailed for a short while and who initially launched a hunger strike which other detainees then followed suit, speaks to the media as she leaves her home to go to a hospital on May 26, 2019 in Diyarbakir - AFP

Turkish attack helicopters and warplanes struck targets in the mountains of northern Iraq, Turkey's defense ministry said on Thursday.


The military had also "neutralized" 19 Kurdish fighters as its operation there entered the fourth day, the ministry added.


Two Turkish soldiers died on Wednesday from wounds sustained in a bomb blast during what was dubbed "Operation Claw", targeting Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the Hakurk region, near Turkey's southeastern tip, Reuters reported, citing the ministry.


Warplanes also carried out strikes in border regions of northern Iraq west of Hakurk, destroying PKK gun positions, shelters and ammunition stores, the ministry noted.


The cross-border push began with artillery and air strikes on Monday before helicopters landed commandos in the region. The PKK is based in Iraq's Qandil area, south of Hakurk.


Meanwhile, the PKK confirmed on Wednesday that three of its fighters had been killed in Turkish air strikes in the Qandil region.


PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, jailed on an island near Istanbul since 1999, was allowed to meet his lawyers this month for the first time in nearly eight years after a hunger strike by lawmakers and thousands of inmates, according to Reuters.


They ended their protest on Sunday in response to a call from Ocalan.


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