Turkish forces kill 15 Kurdish rebels

 

Turkish security forces killed at least 15 Kurdish rebels in a raid near the country’s border with Iraq after tracking them with drones and attacking them with helicopters and on the ground, officials said yesterday.

The drones spotted a group of Kurdish fighters who blocked roads on Monday in Hakkari province, then pinpointed them for an attack when the Kurdish fighters returned to the same area on Tuesday evening, the security officials said. Three Turkish soldiers were injured in clashes that ensued.

The region is the theatre of a 28-year conflict between Turkish forces and fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which in various incarnations has waged a campaign for autonomy in the largely Kurdish southeast of Turkey.

Turkey has cemented ties with the Kurdish leadership of Iraq’s semi-autonomous north, where the PKK has a military presence, through trade and investment, but remains wary that the example of Kurdish self-rule in Iraq could inflame its own Kurdish conflict.