Turkey Launches New Offensive Against PKK in Northern Iraq

Drones, helicopters attack several areas of northern Iraq

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced a new military offensive against northern Iraq on Sunday. The operation involved an unknown number of ground troops, and aerial forces.

As with most Turkish offensives, the target is Kurds. In this case, Turkey is accusing the banned PKK movement of planning a large-scale attack against Turkey originating inside Iraq. Turkish media has talked of this threat for weeks.

Troops have been airlifted into the area by helicopters, and heavy airstrikes hit bunkers and shelters which Turkey believes belong to the PKK. Nineteen PKK personnel were reported killed so far.

Campaigns like these tend to be long and involve a disproportionate amount of damage to local Kurdish civilians. Iraq has objected to the Turkish offensives against the Kurdish north in the past, but more recently have been reluctant to complain when Turkey is after PKK fighters, themselves transplants from Turkey

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.