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24 Jun 2020 | 02:41 AM UTC

Iraq: Turkish forces target alleged militants in northern Zap and Avasin-Basyan regions on June 23 /update 4

Turkish forces target Kurdish militants in northern Zap and Avasin-Basyan regions on June 23; further strikes possible

sécurité
IRQ

Event

On Tuesday, June 23, the Turkish National Defense Ministry announced that six Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants had been neutralized in airstrikes in Iraq's Zap and Avasin-Basyan regions. The term "neutralized" is often utilized by Turkey to denote individuals killed, surrendered, or captured. The strikes come as part of Turkey's Eagle-Claw and Tiger-Claw operations in northern Iraq aimed at removing the PKK's presence on the Turkish border.

Further Turkish operations against Kurdish positions in northern Iraq are likely in the near to medium term. Retaliatory PKK attacks in southern Turkey are a possibility in the near term.

Context

Turkey has faced a Kurdish insurgency since 1984, spearheaded by the PKK, which was renewed in 2015 following the dissolution of a ceasefire. The conflict has left over 40,000 people dead since 1984 and associated violence continues to pose a significant security risk in southeastern Turkey. Turkish forces have reportedly killed dozens of PKK militants in northern Iraq since the beginning of their latest offensive in June.

Advice

Individuals in northern Iraq are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.

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