MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The People’s Defense Forces (HPG) claimed in a statement that 48 Turkish troops were killed after an hour-long shootout in the province of Hakkari on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan. It added that 15 of the soldiers have been buried.
The group also took credit for downing Turkey’s Kobra military helicopter that led to the deaths of two pilots on Friday.
Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds escalated in July 2015 as fighting between the PKK and the Turkish army resumed. Ankara has imposed several round-the-clock curfews in Kurdish-populated towns, preventing civilians from fleeing the regions where the military operations are taking place.
On Friday, Turkish jets launched airstrikes in the northern Iraq province of Dohuk where Ankara suspects militants use as a hideout to stage attacks on Turkish security officers.