Sep 02, 2016 16:27 UTC
  • Turkish army airstrike, soldiers kill 20 Kurdish PKK militants

Nearly two dozen members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group have been killed after Turkish military aircraft and army soldiers carried out a string of counter-terrorism operations against the militants in Turkey’s southeastern province of Hakkari.

Provincial Governor Yakup Canbolat announced on Friday that counter-terrorism police units mounted an offensive against the Kurdish forces late last night.

Turkish air force fighter jets also launched two aerial attacks against PKK positions in the Cukurca district of the province, located 1,026 kilometers (638 miles) east of the capital Ankara. At last 20 PKK militants were killed during the ground and aerial operations.

Military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said one Turkish soldier died and another six sustained injuries in the process.

Separately, PKK militants killed three policemen and injured four others in the mountainous Tendurek district of Turkey's eastern province of Van on Friday.

Turkish military forces have been conducting ground operations as well as airstrikes against PKK positions in Turkey’s troubled southeastern border region and Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region over the past year.

The campaign began following the July 2015 bombing in the southern Turkish town of Suruc, which claimed more than 30 civilian lives. Turkish officials held the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group responsible for the act of terror.