Turkish attacks kills 7 PKK members in Iraq as delegation visits KRG

Turkish drone attacks in northern Iraq have killed seven members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), authorities said, as the country’s foreign minister met the president and prime minister of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

“A Turkish army drone struck a PKK vehicle, killing an official and two fighters”, the KRG’s counterterrorism services said on Thursday.The attack took place in Sidakan district, north of the regional capital Erbil.

Later, the counter-terrorism services said that another drone strike in Sidakan had killed four PKK members, including two medical personnel.

The PKK has fought a rebellion against Turkey since 1984, and has bases inside KRG territory.

While the attacks were not mentioned by either Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan or KRG Prime Minister Masour Barzani during a news conference after their meeting, Fidan did reference the fight against the PKK, and Ankara’s continuing military operation there, which began in April 2022.“We have settled this question in Turkey once and for all,” Fidan said. “We are working with Baghdad and Erbil to protect Iraq from the PKK.”

During a visit to the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Tuesday, Fidan had urged the federal government to brand the PKK a “terrorist” organisation, as it is labelled in Turkey, the European Union and the United States.

Oil exports, which Turkey has blocked from the Kurdish region of northern Iraq since March, were also on the agenda for the Turkish delegation to the KRG, which included Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar.

“We discussed a range of regional issues, including bilateral Iraq-Turkey relations and also with the Kurdistan Region, as well as the mechanism of exporting the Kurdistan region’s oil,” Barzani said in the joint news conference with Fidan.

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