Turkey hits Kurdish base in Iraq's Qandil Mountains region

Turkey hits Kurdish base in Iraq's Qandil Mountains region
Turkey's president has said his country have begun an operation against bases of outlawed Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.
2 min read
17 June, 2018
Erdogan promised that his country will drain the "terror swamp" in northern Iraq [Getty]
Turkish aircrafts reportedly hit on Saturday a meeting for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Iraq’s Qandil mountains, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Airstrikes by the Turkish military have intensified in northern Iraq targeting PKK bases in Qandil by the Iraq-Iran border, where Ankara believes holds senior members of the militant group.

The government added that Turkish troops are deployed nearly 30 km inside northern Iraq, near Qandil, and that the outcome of the strikes will be announced in the coming hours.

“With the latest operations, we struck a very important meeting point of theirs. We haven’t received the results yet, but it is certain that they have been hit,” Erdogan said.

Analysts say that a major operation against the PKK in northern Iraq would give Erdogan a welcome boost in the snap polls which are expected to be tighter than initially predicted.

But an extensive ground operation would also be fraught with risk, given the complex mountainous terrain of the Qandil region which is well known to the PKK but not the Turkish army.

It is in this area that the PKK's military leadership such as Murat Karayilan and Cemil Bayik are believed to be based.

Erdogan promised last week that his country will drain the "terror swamp" in northern Iraq.

Outlawed by Ankara and its Western allies, the PKK has waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, and the army is battling the group's militants both inside Turkey and in northern Iraq.

Ankara earlier this year successfully carried out a major cross-border incursion into Syria along with allied Syrian rebels, taking the Afrin region in the northwest from a Kurdish militia.