Turkish drones kill 2 PKK members in Iraq, Kurdish officials say

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Separate Turkish drone strikes killed two members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, in northern Iraq on Wednesday, officials in the autonomous Kurdistan region said, following a similar incident Sunday.

The first strike hit a PKK car near the village of Jalala in the Sulaimaniyah province, killing “a PKK intelligence official” and wounding two group members, Iraqi Kurdistan’s counter-terrorism services said.

Later, another car carrying PKK fighters was also hit in a Turkish drone strike near the village of Qalaa, killing one PKK member and wounding two others, officials said.

Turkey, along with its Western allies, classifies the PKK as a terrorist organization.

The PKK has waged an insurgency in Turkey since 1984 that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Ankara maintains dozens of military bases in northern Iraq where it regularly launches operations against group fighters who also have positions in the region.

The Turkish armed forces rarely comment on the attacks carried out in Iraq.

Wednesday’s strikes followed one on Sunday, near Iraqi Kurdistan’s second-largest city, Sulaimaniyah, which killed a PKK military official, Iraqi Kurdistan’s counter-terrorism services said.

Both the Iraqi federal authorities and the Kurdistan regional government have been accused of tolerating Turkey’s military activities to preserve their close economic ties.

But officials both in Baghdad and in Erbil, where the Kurdish authorities are based, have repeatedly denounced Turkish military activity they say violates Iraqi sovereignty.