Turkish warplanes pounded the southeastern Hakkari Province today with a flurry of airstrikes, and Turkish ground troops also carried out operations in and around the province. At least 27 PKK fighters were reported killed, along with seven Turkish soldiers.
Turkey has been fighting the Kurdish PKK since the 1980s, but more specifically since last summer, when the Erdogan government abandoned a ceasefire and launched a major military offensive against the southeast, where the bulk of the nation’s Kurdish population lives.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim today insisted that the PKK were to blame for all of the fighting, and that they had “squandered” their chance for peace by launching bombing attacks after the government withdrew from the ceasefire.
Turkey’s war against Kurdish secessionist ambitions has increasingly spanned across the border, with Turkish forces targeting the Kurdish YPG in northeastern Syria, which they claim are part of the PKK. They have also conducted regular airstrikes against northern Iraq, targeting PKK targets there.