Turkish soldiers killed in clashes with Kurdish militants in Iraq

Turkish soldiers killed in clashes with Kurdish militants in Iraq
Two Turkish soldiers were killed in northern Iraq, following clashes with militants.
2 min read
17 March, 2019
Turkey has embarked on military operations in Iraq [Getty]
Two Turkish soldiers have been killed following clashes with suspected Kurdish militants in Iraq, the defence ministry reported on Saturday.

Eight more troops were injured during the Turkish operation in northern Iraq on Saturday, where Ankara keeps a military force to combat Kurdish militants, according to Reuters.

Six suspected Kurdish militants - including a woman - were "neutralised" in the operation, meaning they were killed, injured or detained.

Turkey has carried out a number of air strikes against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) positions in northern Iraq, a militant group which has fought a decades long insurgency against Ankara.

The war between the PKK and Turkey has cost the lives of some 40,000 people with fighting erupting again during the Syrian civil war.

Turkey launched a major operation against the PKK in Iraq in 2008, with hundreds of Kurdish militants killed and injured in combat.

Turkey and Iran have been planning to carry out a joint operation against Kurdish rebels, according to Turkey's interior minister on Wednesday.

"God willing, we will carry out a joint operation against the PKK together with Iran," Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said, according to Anadolu.

Soylu did not specify which PKK bases the planned operation would target but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously said it would be against militant hideouts in Iraq.

Turkey has already waged an offensive on the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in northern Syria, causing tensions with the US, who have backed the Kurdish group in the fight against the Islamic State group.