PKK terrorists launched an attack on a Peshmerga outpost in Irbil, the capital of northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), said the Peshmerga chief of staff on Monday.
The attack took place in Khalifan, Irbil, near the Bekhma dam, Jamal Mohammad said.
The Peshmerga forces returned fire, but also suffered casualties, he said without giving further details.
These casualties among the Peshmerga forces prove that the PKK terror group is the instigating party, he said.
Tensions between the PKK and KRG have been rising since last December, when the terrorist PKK moved in against the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the largest party in the semiautonomous KRG region.
Serbest Lezgin, the KRG deputy minister of Peshmerga affairs, said the terrorist PKK attacked KRG Peshmerga forces with heavy weapons along the Syrian border on the night of Dec. 15, adding that international coalition forces led by the United States have been providing weapons and aid to the PKK's Syrian branch YPG for years under the guise of fighting the terror group Daesh.
The U.S. has primarily partnered with the YPG in northeastern Syria in the anti-Daesh fight. On the other hand, Turkey strongly opposed the terrorist group’s presence in northern Syria, which has been a major sticking point in strained Turkey-U.S. relations. Ankara has long objected to the U.S.' support for the YPG, a group that poses a threat to Turkey and that terrorizes local people, destroying their homes and forcing them to flee.
Under the pretext of fighting Daesh, the U.S. has provided military training and given truckloads of military support to the YPG, despite its NATO ally’s security concerns. While underlining that a country cannot support one terrorist group to fight another, Turkey conducted its own counterterrorism operations, over the course of which it has managed to remove a significant number of terrorists from the region.
The PKK terrorist group has recently increased multifaceted terrorist attacks by targeting legitimate representatives of the Kurdish people in northern Iraq. The targets include Peshmerga forces and police officers, while the terrorist group also kidnaps civilians, targets diplomatic missions and incites peaceful protests to become violent in the KRG.
The PKK terrorist group accuses the Irbil administration of collaborating with Turkey in its successful anti-terror operations in northern Iraq and is therefore attacking Peshmerga forces in the KRG.
Turkish security forces have ramped up their efforts against the PKK terrorists at home and across the country's borders and have been carrying out successful operations to eliminate senior terrorists.
Determined to eliminate terrorism at its source, Turkey is throttling the terrorist group in northern Iraq. Northern Iraq is known to have many PKK terrorist hideouts and bases from where they carry out attacks on Turkey.
The Turkish military regularly conducts cross-border operations in northern Iraq. Turkey has long been stressing that it will not tolerate terrorist threats posed against its national security and has called on Iraqi officials to take the necessary steps to eliminate the terrorist group. Ankara previously noted that if the expected steps were not taken, it would not shy away from targeting terrorist threats.
PKK terrorist targets are being struck in the Metina, Avashin-Basyan, Zap and Qandil regions. In addition to F-16 fighter jets, border artillery units, fire support elements in the forward base areas and attack helicopters are participating in the operation.
Most recently, a Turkish soldier was killed in northern Iraq, Turkey's Defense Ministry said late Monday.
"During a road patrol in the Hakurk region, one soldier was killed in an attack by the PKK terrorist group," the ministry said in a statement.
The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than four decades and has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.
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