Turkey: 41 Kurdish Fighters Killed in Recent Strikes

PKK Urges US to Act as Mediator in Ongoing Conflict

New statements from the Turkish military claim another 41 Kurdish fighters were killed in airstrikes against northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey’s Sirnak Province over the course of Thursday and Friday, adding to over 800 PKK fighters they claim to have killed in the past few weeks.

The report said 29 were killed in Iraq’s Qandil Mountains and the other 12 in Sirnak. Turkish President Erdogan warned he expects the Iraqi military to do something about the PKK, and said if they don’t, the Turkish military will.

Turkey and the PKK had been at war for over 30 years, but in a state of ceasefire for over two years before the Turkish military started launching attacks late last month against PKK forces who had moved to Iraq per the terms of the ceasefire. Iraqi and Iraqi Kurdish officials have slammed the attacks.

Key PKK leader Cemil Bayik is urging the US government to act as mediator between the two sides to return to a state of ceasefire. The US has denied any contact with the PKK, formally, because they are listed as a terror organization, but Bayik insists indeed that there has been ongoing contact with US officials.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.