Five Turkish soldiers killed in Iraq operation

Five Turkish soldiers were killed in a clash with the PKK militants in the Zap region, as reported by Turkey’s defence ministry on Thursday.

This incident is a chapter of Turkey’s ongoing cross-border campaign, “Operation Claw-Lock”, aimed at impeding the PKK from using Iraqi regions as a springboard for their attacks on Turkish territories.

The ministry said these soldiers were fatally hit in the initial moments of an exchange with the PKK during a ground reconnaissance operation.

The challenging terrain of the Zap region, combined with well-established PKK defensive positions, complicates military operations. However, the defence ministry says it remains steadfast in its mission to cleanse the area of insurgent presence.

The PKK, with roots in northern Iraq, is officially marked as a terrorist organization not only by Turkey but also the U.S. and the European Union. Originating in 1984, their insurgency in southeastern Turkey has resulted in over 40,000 casualties.

Further details from the defence ministry indicate since the launch of “Operation Claw-Lock” in April 2022, 586 militants have been “neutralised”, a term often used by the Turkish forces to denote those killed in action.

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