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One Dead, Six Wounded in Turkish Raid on Northern Iraq

A Turkish air strike on Iraqi Kurdistan killed one person and wounded six others Thursday, a local official said, as Ankara pushed an assault on the north of the country.

On June 17, Turkey launched a cross-border ground and air operation, dubbed “Claw-Tiger,” against Kurdish rebels hiding out in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

It has deployed warplanes, drones, and special forces against the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a “terrorist” group because of its decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.

On Thursday evening, a Turkish strike hit a pickup truck in a rural area north of the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah, said local official Kameran Abdallah.

“It killed one man who was in the car,” said Abdallah, without being able to specify if the victim was a civilian or fighter. “The six wounded consisted of two women, two children and two men, all members of the same family,” he added.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Image: Michał Józefaciuk/Senat Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0 PL

Since “Claw-Tiger” began, at least five civilians have been killed and hundreds of families have fled their homes. One PKK fighter and two Turkish soldiers have also been announced killed by their respective commands.

The PKK has long used the rugged terrain of northern Iraq as a rear base to wage attacks on Turkey, which in turn had set up military positions inside Iraqi territory to fight them.

Iraq has summoned the Turkish envoy in Baghdad twice over the operation, but official Kurdish comment has been notably more subdued.

The Kurdish authorities, dominated by the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (KDP) see the PKK as rivals but have never been able to uproot them from their northern Iraqi bases.

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