3 Turkish soldiers killed in clash with Kurdish militants in Iraq

A group of armed Kurdish fighters from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. (AP/File)
Updated 25 August 2019
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3 Turkish soldiers killed in clash with Kurdish militants in Iraq

  • The conflict has claimed more than 40,000 lives since the PKK took up arms in 1984

ANKARA, ISTANBUL: Three Turkish soldiers were killed and seven were wounded in a clash with Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

The statement came after Turkey on Friday launched the third phase of an operation begun in May to root out fighters of the Kurdish Workers Party, or PKK (PKK), in the region. It did not specify the location of the clashes.

Turkey launched the “Claw” operation in May into mountainous northern Iraq against the PKK. The operation involved conducting a ground offensive and bombing campaign against the PKK in the region.

The offensive entered its third phase on Friday, in which troops aim to destroy PKK caves and shelters in the Sinat-Haftanin region. The conflict has claimed more than 40,000 lives since the PKK took up arms in 1984.

The PKK began an insurgency against Turkey in the country’s mainly Kurdish southeast in 1984, and the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people. Turkey, the US and the EU consider the group, based in the Qandil mountains of northern Iraq, a terror organization.

Daesh attack kills 6

Separately, Daesh militants have fired mortar rounds at a soccer field near a religious site, killing six civilians and wounding nine others, according to police in Iraq.

The attack occurred late on Saturday in the village of Daquq, in Iraq’s northern Kirkuk province, as people were exercising.

Police officials confirmed the attack, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

The area of the attack, southeast of the city of Kirkuk, is controlled by Iran-supported militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces.

Daesh, which once ruled a self-styled proto-state sprawling across Iraq and Syria, no longer controls territory in either country but has continued to stage sporadic attacks.


Iran may release British-flagged tanker within hours, Swedish owner says

Updated 22 September 2019
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Iran may release British-flagged tanker within hours, Swedish owner says

  • Stena Impero was detained two weeks after Britain detained an Iranian tanker off the territory of Gibraltar, which has since been released

STOCKHOLM: The chief executive of the Swedish firm that owns the Stena Impero, the British-flagged tanker detained by Tehran on July 19, said on Sunday he had been informed that the vessel may be released within a few hours.
The Stena Impero was detained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the Strait of Hormuz waterway for alleged marine violations, two weeks after Britain detained an Iranian tanker off the territory of Gibraltar. That vessel was released in August.
Erik Hanell, chief executive of Stena Bulk, told the Swedish public broadcaster SVT: “We have received information now this morning that it seems like they will release the ship Stena Impero within a few hours. So, we understand that the political decision to release the ship has been taken.”
“We hope to be able to head out within a few hours, but we don’t want to anticipate events. We want to see that the ship sails out of Iranian territorial waters,” Hanell told SVT.
Hanell did not immediate respond to a request for comment.
On Sept. 4, Iran released seven of vessel’s 23 crew members. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said at the time that Sweden had been in daily contact with Iran at a high political level since the vessel was seized.