Strikes Start Offensive Involving 2,000 Ground Troops
Turkish warplanes pounded several PKK sites in the southeastern Şirnak Province today, the first strikes in what officials are calling a major new military operation, with some 2,000 ground troops involved in an operation taking them dangerously close to both the Syrian and Iraqi borders.
The sites targeted were in the mountains, and so far officials have not provided any clue as to how many casualties the air strikes caused. In the past major offensives by Turkish forces the defense ministry has issued a final toll only, and not daily updates.
Turkish officials have launched several moves against Şirnak as well as Hakkari Province in recent weeks, with PKK forces responding in kind, ambushing forces and attacking checkpoints along the Turkey-Iraq border.
The PKK and Turkey have been fighting a war off and on for the past 28 years, with tens of thousands of people killed in the process. The PKK initially sought to secede from turkey but has recently pushed primarily for increased autonomy for the Kurdish regions instead of overt separation.
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