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Drone strikes highlight perils of Turkey-PKK war for Iraqi Kurdistan

Increasingly frequent attacks deep inside KRG territory pose danger for civilians and underscore challenges for diplomacy.
Residents of Sulaimaniya protest against a drone attack that hit the vicinity of the Sulaimaniya airport in April 2023. (AKO RASHEED/Reuters)

CHAMCHAMAL/SULAIMANIYA - Drone strikes have hit targets associated with the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) deep inside Iraqi Kurdistan several times in recent days, highlighting the ongoing security and diplomatic challenges — and danger to civilians — posed by the PKK’s long-standing conflict with Turkey.

Turkey has not confirmed responsibility for specific incidents, but its Defense Ministry said in a statement on Aug. 11 that its operations in both Iraq and Syria "continue to bury PKK [...] terrorists in trenches wherever they are," claiming that 19 militants had been killed on Aug. 10 and 11 alone. The statement was accompanied by a video montage of air strikes.

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