June 22, 2018 / 5:14 PM / a month ago

Turkish air strikes kill 15 Kurdish militants in northern Iraq

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The Turkish military said it carried out air strikes in northern Iraq on Friday, killing 15 Kurdish militants.

The strikes were carried out on the Gara region, the military said on Twitter.

Turkey has recently stepped up strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) bases in northern Iraq, especially its stronghold in the Qandil mountains.

Ankara has warned it might launch a ground offensive into Qandil, where high-ranking PKK members are believed to be based.

President Tayyip Erdogan, who faces tough elections on Sunday, has vowed to “drain the terror swamp” there.

More than 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK launched its insurgency in Turkey in 1984. It is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and European Union.

Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen; editing by David Stamp

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