Iraq: Four more Turkish soldiers killed in fighting with Kurds

Turkish forces on Iraqi soil face strong Kurdish resistance

Iraq

Four Turkish soldiers were killed in an exchange of fire with gunmen in northern Iraq, the Turkish Defense Ministry announced on Sunday evening.

There had been more fighting with Kurdish PKK fighters during the week, with a number of casualties admitted by Ankara.

According to the same ministry, the new incident took place in an area where Turkey was conducting a military operation on the Turkish-Iraqi border.

In a recent visit to Iraq, the head of the Turkish intelligence services (MIT), Hakan Fidan, emphasized that Turkey will continue operations inside Iraqi territory as long as the fighters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (which Turkey describes as terrorists) remain there.

Mr Fidan's visit to Baghdad came less than two months after Iraq raised concerns about Turkish operations in the autonomous Kurdistan region to the UN Security Council, warning that Turkey had "expansionary" aims behind repeated attacks on Iraqi soil.

Iraq's complaint to the Security Council came in response to Turkish bombing in July that killed nine Iraqi civilians in Duhok province, sparking national outrage in the country.

Shortly after the attack, Iraq's National Security Council demanded the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Iraqi soil as the country erupted in fury after details of the tragedy emerged.

According to the latest report of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense in July, the Turkish army has entered a depth of 105 kilometers into the territory of Iraq and has more than 4.000 soldiers inside the country.

Source: Reuters, Rudaw