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Two Killed in Iraqi Kurdistan in Drone Strikes Blamed on Turkey

At least two people have been killed and two others wounded in northern Iraq’s Kurdistan region, officials said Sunday, blaming a drone strike carried out by neighboring Turkey.

The strikes late Saturday near the town of Penjwen, close to the Iranian border, targeted a vehicle carrying Turkish Kurdish fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

The PKK, which Ankara and its Western allies classify as a “terrorist” organization, operates rear bases in Iraq’s north.

Haval Abubaker, regional governor of Sulaimaniyah, expressed his “concern” about the “attacks” in a telephone call with Masrour Barzani, prime minister of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan.

“According to preliminary elements of the investigation, two people were killed and two others injured by these attacks,” Abubaker said in a statement, which did not name the victims or mention any link to the PKK.

Since 1984 the PKK has waged an insurgency in Turkey that has claimed tens of thousands of lives, and Ankara has long maintained military positions inside northern Iraq where it regularly launches operations against them.

Abubaker expressed “hope that these attacks will stop, to preserve the security of the region,” according to his statement.

On April 7, drone strikes also blamed on Turkey targeted the surroundings of Sulaimaniyah airport, when the commander of the Kurdish-led and US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were present, as well as US troops.

Ankara denied any involvement.

Turkey regards the SDF and its main component, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), as an offshoot of the PKK.

In July, artillery strikes blamed on Turkey hit a park in Iraqi Kurdistan killing nine, which Ankara denied responsibility for and blamed the PKK.

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