Turkey Says Over 80 ‘Militants’ Killed in North Iraq Airstrike

Attack Destroyed Accused PKK Weapons Depot

Turkey’s military has issued a statement claiming that a Monday airstrike against a target inside northern Iraq has killed over 80 people, all of them identified as “militants” with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The attack destroyed a building which Turkish officials accused of being a “weapons depot,” and a pair of vehicles near the site. The attack also heavily damaged a shelter housing a large number of people, who they also identified as part of the PKK.

Turkey and the PKK have been at war off and on since 1984. During a ceasefire meant to facilitate peace talks, many of the PKK forces were evacuated into northern Iraq, but since the resumption of hostilities, Turkey has regularly attacked northern Iraq on the pretext that everything there is PKK.

That’s been a problem for the residents of northern Iraq, as regular Turkish airstrikes have made the region virtually uninhabitable for the civilian population, forcing many of them to flee further south into the Kurdistan Regional Government’s territory.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.