Turkish Air Campaign Targets PKK in Iraq and Syria

Credit: (AFP)
In recent weeks, Turkey has intensified its air campaigns in Iraq and Syria, targeting sites affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian offshoot, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The Turkish Ministry of Defense has reported multiple successful strikes, claiming the neutralization of PKK/YPG militants and the destruction of their military infrastructure.

The Turkish strikes, carried out by drones and military aircraft, have focused on various locations, including the city of Qamishli in northern Hasakah, the city of Ayn Al-Arab in eastern Aleppo, and the village of Mayassa near Afrin in northern Aleppo. The strikes have resulted in the destruction of SDF militia sites, including field hospitals, military headquarters, gas stations, and oil refineries used by the PKK.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Defense, the recent air campaign has led to the neutralization of 26 PKK/YPG militants in northern Syria and Iraq. Additionally, Turkish intelligence reported the neutralization of Muhammad Shafa Akman, a prominent PKK leader in the city of Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq.

Turkish Defense Minister has confirmed that a total of 71 targets belonging to the PKK/YPG party were struck in northern Syria and Iraq, resulting in “the neutralization of 59 terrorists.” The Turkish government has emphasized that the strikes specifically targeted military sites and infrastructure used by the PKK and SDF militias, denying allegations of civilian casualties or the targeting of civilian infrastructure, despite some outcry at the targeting of factories and medical facilities.

The Turkish air campaign has sparked controversy and raised concerns about the escalating conflict in the region. The SDF have accused Turkey of targeting civilian infrastructure and spreading misinformation about civilian casualties. However, the Turkish government has maintained that the strikes exclusively targeted military sites and were aimed at dismantling the PKK’s presence in the region.

The intensification of Turkish air campaigns in Iraq and Syria reflects the ongoing struggle between Turkey and militant groups operating in the region. The PKK, designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU, has been engaged in a decades-long conflict with the Turkish government and its presence in northern Syria along the Turkish border remains a constant concern for the Turkish government.


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