13:10 GMT +316 October 2019
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    In this Thursday Jan. 29, 2015 photo, fighters of the Turkey-based Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) walk in the damaged streets of Sinjar, Iraq

    At Least 2 Killed, 5 Hurt in Iraqi Army Clashes With Kurdish PKK - Reports

    © AP Photo / Bram Janssen
    Middle East
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    Clashes took place Sunday in Sinjar in northwestern Iraq after PKK fighters were denied passage through an army checkpoint, Reuters reported, adding that the Kurdish fighters drove a vehicle into one soldier and attacked the checkpoint.

    "The clashes started when a military vehicle belonging to the Sinjar protection units wanted to cross from a border area between the Kurdistan region and Kurdistan, Syria, where they were shot by Iraqi forces", the governor of Sinjar, Mahma Khalil, told the Kurdish Rudaw broadcaster on Sunday.

    According to him, as a result of the incident, two PKK militants were killed and three injured. A source told the broadcaster that the incident took place near the town of Snuny close to the Iraqi-Syrian border.

    According to the Iraqi News media outlet, the skirmish left a Kurdish fighter dead and two others wounded. A source told the media outlet that an Iraqi serviceman was also killed in the clash, while four others were wounded.

    READ MORE: Turkish Forces 'Neutralize' 7 PKK Militants in Northern Iraq — Reports

    The Turkish Defence Ministry has said, cited by Iraqi News, that two Turkish soldiers were killed earlier on Saturday and eight others were wounded in clashes with Kurdistan Workers’ Party militants in northern Iraq.

    Sinjar, near the border with Syria, was one of the first areas to be recaptured by the the Kurdish militia from Daesh in 2015 during a US-backed campaign to drive the terrorist group out of vast areas they briefly controlled in Syria and Iraq.

    The Turkish government has been fighting the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara — which seeks to establish an autonomous Kurdish Republic in Turkey, since the early 1980s. The PKK and Ankara agreed on a ceasefire in 2013, but it collapsed just two years later after Ankara accused the PKK of carrying out terror attacks.

    Turkish security forces regularly carry out anti-PKK raids across the country, conducting airstrikes against the group in northern Iraq as well. According to Turkish authorities, over 10,000 PKK members have died in the fighting since 2015.

    READ MORE: Turkish Authorities Reportedly Detain 11 PKK Members in Ankara

    Baghdad has repeatedly condemned and rejected Turkish airstrikes and anti-PKK raids in northern Iraq and Kurdistan, stressing that the military actions harm the spirit of neighborliness between Iraq and Turkey.

    *Daesh (aka IS/ISIS/Islamic State) is a terror group banned in Russia and many other countries.


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