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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

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.

It has responded by sending in helicopters and a commando unit to the region.

The ambush comes as Ankara pursues airstrikes against the Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK in northern Iraq.

It is also targeting ISIL in Syria but its campaign against Kurdish militants has been most intense.

The northern Iraqi village of Amadiya has felt the full force of Turkish airstrikes, leaving those living there fearing for their lives.

“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.

“Much of our harvest and farms are burnt… There is no benefit of war. We hope the Turkish government and PKK solve their problems with peaceful discussions.”

Political tensions in Turkey have intensified since pro-Kurdish success in June’s elections in which the ruling AK party lost its majority.

Pro-Kurdish HDP opposition party leader Selahattin Demirtas
has accused President Erdogan of dragging Turkey into conflict as an act of revenge – something the government denies.

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 ISIL.