Posted on October 7, 2016 by Editorial Staff in PKK
A Turkish warplane. Photo: AFP
QANDIL,— One of the Turkish F-16 fighter jets that have been striking Kurdish PKK rebels’ targets in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region since early Thursday evening has reportedly been downed, Firat News Agency ANF close to PKK reported.
Turkish F-16 fighter jets have been shelling Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK targets in Qandil region in Iraq’s Kurdistan territory since Thursday evening.
Local sources told ANF that one of these fighter jets has been downed in Pishta Shane area at around 20:30 local time as the aerial aggression continued.
On September 29, a Turkish plane crashed near Gara Mountain in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region where members of the PKK captured pieces of the wrecked plane.
A spokesman from the PKK military wing (HPG), Bakhtyar Dogan said a Turkish jet crashed on Sept. 28, between the villages of Gize and Biye in the district of Amedi, 90 km northeast of Duhok.
Military jets have carried out strikes inside Iraqi Kurdistan targeting suspected PKK bases after the ceasefire between the military and the guerrilla group collapsed in July 2015.
Since July 2015, Turkey initiated a controversial military campaign against the PKK in the country’s southeastern Kurdish region after Ankara ended a two-year ceasefire agreement. Since the beginning of the campaign, Ankara has imposed several round-the-clock curfews, preventing civilians from fleeing regions where the military operations are being conducted.
Observers say the crackdown has taken a heavy toll on the Kurdish civilian population and accuse Turkey of using collective punishment against the minority.
Activists have accused the security forces of causing huge destruction to urban centres and killing Kurdish civilians. But the government says the operations are essential for public safety, blaming the PKK for the damage.
The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 78-million population. A large Kurdish community in Turkey and worldwide openly sympathise with PKK rebels.