Turkey’s army has killed 35 Kurdish fighters after they attempted to storm a Turkish military base in the southeastern Hakkari province, military officials said.
The early morning attack on Saturday came just hours after clashes in Hakkari’s Cukurca district between soldiers and armed fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that left eight soldiers dead, the officials said.
The PKK fighters attempted to take the base in three different groups, but were spotted by aerial reconnaissance. An air operation was subsequently launched, killing 23 fighters, the officials said.
Four more were then killed in a ground operation, they said. The remaining eight were killed in clashes in Cukurca district.
Friday’s clashes in Cukurca also left 25 soldiers wounded, the officials said.
Last week, Turkey’s military launched air strikes against members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, killing 20 fighters.
More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the PKK – designated a ‘terrorist group’ by Turkey, the US and the European Union – began its insurgency in 1984.
Turkey carries out frequent attacks against PKK targets in Iraq’s Kurdish regions near the Turkish border, where the PKK leadership has camps.
Turkey’s military, NATO’s second-largest, has continued to grapple with the insurgency in the mainly Kurdish southeast as its senior ranks undergo a major shake-up in following a July 15-16 coup attempt.