Latest updates on northern Iraq, 31 August 2021
ISWNews Analysis Group: Scattered ground clashes between Turkish troops and PKK militants continue in northern Iraq, and Turkey has intensified airstrikes in the areas.
Following Turkey’s attacks in northern Iraq under the pretext of fighting PKK militants, areas in Iraqi Kurdistan were targeted by Turkish airstrikes, and the PKK militants, with partisan operations, stopped part of the advance of the Turkish ground forces.
PKK said an explosion on the path of Turkish army armored vehicle killed and wounded several Turkish soldiers who were airlifted out of the area and taken to medical facilities. Also, in a clash with Turkish troops on August 28, two Turkish soldiers were killed in the Khakurak area and one Turkish soldier was killed in the Metina area. The PKK claimed that Turkish troops had used chemical weapons to advance and attack areas in northern Iraq, including the Avashin area.
From August 24 to 29, Turkish aircraft targeted areas in the Zap region, causing forest fires in the area. On August 30, a Toyota Hilux car was targeted by Turkish aircraft in the Peshdar area of northern Sulaymaniyah province. No casualties were reported.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Ministry of Defense announced that, according to information received from the Turkish National Intelligence and Security Agency (MIT), there were accurate attacks on PKK members in the Metina area, during which three PKK members were killed.
The Turkish Ministry of Defense also claimed that during a series of operations on August 30, several PKK hideouts in northern Iraq were targeted by Turkish airstrikes, killing 12 PKK members.
The operations of the Turkish ground forces in the northern regions of Iraq seem to have slowed, but in contrast, the attacks and activities of the Turkish air force have increased sharply. Due to the recent casualties of Turkish forces in ground battles, it is likely that ground operations will not be carried out for a while as in the past, and that PKK forces will be confronted by warplanes or drone strikes.