Turkey says it ‘neutralized’ senior PKK member in northern Iraq

Turkish soldiers at observation post at the operation site between Ikiyaka Mountains and Daglica as Turkish Armed Forces stage operation against PKK fighters near Iraq border, in Hakkari, on August 15, 2017. (Anadolu Agency)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Turkey said on Monday it had “neutralized” a senior member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. 

The Turkish defense ministry said the armed forces and national intelligence organization targeted two “terrorists” in the Gara region during Operation Pence-Kaplan (Claw-Lightning), state news agency Anadolu said.

“The so-called external affairs director of the terror group, Mehmet Emin Ekinci, is among the neutralized terrorists,” Anadolu cited the ministry as saying.

Turkey uses “neutralize” term for targets who have been killed or wounded.

The PKK has yet to confirm the figures.

On Sunday, the People’s Defense Forces (HPG), a PKK-military wing, announced the killing of nine Turkish soldiers in Avashin and Matin regions.

Turkey has taken its decades-old conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) deep into the Kurdistan Region, establishing military bases and deploying armed military drones against the fighters in their mountain strongholds.

Most of the operations have focused on territory up to 30 km (20 miles) from the border.

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