Since the weekend, Turkey has been conducting an aerial operation “against terrorist targets” in northern Syria and Iraq. These strikes come as retaliation after the death of 12 Turkish soldiers in two days in northern Iraq, where Ankara has military bases. On Tuesday, December 26, Turkish intelligence reported targeting one of the alleged leaders of the Kurdish PKK movement during a targeted operation in the city of Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq.
Mehmet Sefa Akman, nicknamed Bahoz Zagros, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Sulaymaniyah, was reportedly killed during a targeted attack on Tuesday, according to Turkish security sources. The attack was said to be carried out by the MIT, the Turkish National Intelligence Organization.
If confirmed, it would, however, fulfill Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s promise to relentlessly combat “the barons of terror.”
This is also one of Ankara’s responses to the loss of twelve of its soldiers last weekend as PKK militants attempted to infiltrate a Turkish base in northern Iraq. Since then, Turkish soldiers have been conducting relentless aerial operations, targeting checkpoints, oil facilities, and hospitals on the Syrian side.
For just the day of December 25, 33 aerial operations were carried out in the region, injuring at least 35 civilians, according to the Syrian North Press agency.
There is a radio silence from the side of the Iraqi-Kurdish authorities. However, in a statement on Tuesday morning, the administration of northern and eastern Syria’s autonomous region urged the United Nations and Russia to intervene, as these Turkish operations could threaten the region’s security.