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Turkey: Three soldiers killed as anti-PKK airstrikes intensify

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By Euronews
Turkey: Three soldiers killed as anti-PKK airstrikes intensify

<p>Turkey says that three of its soldiers were killed by Kurdish separatists on Thursday in an attack on a military convoy in the southeastern province of Sirnak.</p> <p>It has responded by sending in helicopters and a commando unit to the region.</p> <p>The ambush comes as Ankara pursues airstrikes against the Kurdistan Workers Party or <span class="caps">PKK</span> in northern Iraq. </p> <p>It is also targeting <span class="caps">ISIL</span> in Syria but its campaign against Kurdish militants has been most intense.</p> <p>The northern Iraqi village of Amadiya has felt the full force of Turkish airstrikes, leaving those living there fearing for their lives.</p> <p>“Half of the village’s residents left because of the bombardment and they are afraid to come back,” said Salim Ahmed Salim, a Kurdish resident of Amadiya.</p> <p>“Much of our harvest and farms are burnt… There is no benefit of war. We hope the Turkish government and <span class="caps">PKK</span> solve their problems with peaceful discussions.”</p> <p>Political tensions in Turkey have intensified since pro-Kurdish success in June’s elections in which the ruling AK party lost its majority. </p> <p>Pro-Kurdish <span class="caps">HDP</span> opposition party leader Selahattin Demirtas <br /> has accused President Erdogan of dragging Turkey into conflict as an act of revenge – something the government denies.</p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Turkish?src=hash">#Turkish</a> military campaign aims to prevent <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Kurdish?src=hash">#Kurdish</a> unity in Syria: HDP co-chair <a href="http://t.co/6fC8sGRDFr">http://t.co/6fC8sGRDFr</a> <a href="http://t.co/JeLptIjB5K">pic.twitter.com/JeLptIjB5K</a></p>— Hurriyet Daily News (@HDNER) <a href="https://twitter.com/HDNER/status/626731522242932736">July 30, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>Demirtas also claimed the main aim of Turkey’s recent military operations in northern Syria and Iraq is to prevent Kurdish territorial unity and not to combat <span class="caps">ISIL</span>.</p>