A Turkish drone strike in northern Iraq killed two Yazidi fighters affiliated with the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Wednesday, the second such action this week, Iraqi Kurdish officials said.
Both strikes were carried out in Sinjar district, one of the heartlands of Iraq’s non-Muslim Yazidi minority, which endured massacres and sex slavery during the brief but brutal rule of the Islamic State jihadist group in 2014.
The strikes targeted the Sinjar Resistance Units, a locally recruited militia affiliated with both the PKK and Iraq’s Shiite-led paramilitary force Hashed al-Shaabi, with whom it fought against the jihadists.
“A Turkish military drone targeted a car carrying a (militia) security official and his bodyguard” in the town of Sinjar, killing both, the counter-terrorism services of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region said in a statement.
A similar strike on Monday killed three of the militia’s fighters in their car in Sinjar region.
Outlawed by Turkey for waging a brutal insurgency in Kurdish-populated areas that has claimed tens of thousands of lives since 1984.
Turkey has dozens of military facilities in northern Iraq for use in its war against the PKK, and has repeatedly carried out strikes targeting the group in northern Iraq.
Last month, the PKK said it was temporarily halting its operations following the devastating February 6 earthquake that struck Turkey and neighboring Syria.
Sinjar district lies outside the historic boundaries of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, but its Yazidi population is Kurdish-speaking.