Erdogan vows to 'finish' Kurdish militants in Iraq to avenge dead soldiers

Violence in largely Kurdish southeast has worsened since collapse of ceasefire in 2015


Reuters October 06, 2018
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets members of parliament from his AK Party in Ankara. PHOTO REUTERS

ANKARA: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday vowed to “finish” Kurdish militants in Iraq’s Sinjar and Qandil regions to avenge eight Turkish soldiers killed in a bomb attack in southeastern Turkey earlier this week.

On Wednesday, eight Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded after a roadside bomb in the southeastern province of Batman was detonated by outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants.

Speaking to members of his ruling AK Party at the start of a two-day summit in the outskirts of Ankara, Erdogan said the PKK would pay the price for the eight soldiers.

Erdogan hopes Kurdish-held Afrin 'will fall by evening'

“Do we have eight martyrs? Then let those terrorists know that they will pay the price for this with at least 800,” he said. “We will finish them by going into their dens, their holes. We will end them in Sinjar and in Qandil.”

The comments marked Erdogan’s strongest warning of a potential offensive against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq in recent weeks.

Turkey has in recent months carried out strikes on PKK bases in northern Iraq, especially its stronghold in the Qandil mountains, but warnings of a ground offensive into the area had largely died down following the June elections.

Turkey steps up assault on Kurdish militia in Syria

The PKK, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Turkey and the European Union, has waged an insurgency against the state since Turkish the 1980s.

Violence in the largely Kurdish southeast has worsened since the collapse of a ceasefire in 2015 and the government has carried out widespread operations to capture the militants in Turkey as well.

Over the past two days, Turkish authorities have detained 137 people over suspected links to the PKK in operations across the nation, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.

COMMENTS

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read