Turkish forces destroyed a dozen suspected Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) targets in the Qandil, Hakurk, and Avasin-Basyan areas of northern Iraq in a series of airstrikes overnight from Monday, June 11, to Tuesday, June 12 (local time). Additionally, the Turkish army announced that it had neutralized some 34 militants in northern Iraq between June 1 and June 8. Additional Turkish airstrikes are possible in northern Iraq in the near-term.
Turkey has faced a Kurdish insurgency since 1984, spearheaded by the PKK, which was renewed in 2015 following the dissolution of a ceasefire. The conflict has left over 40,000 people dead since 1984 and associated violence continues to pose a significant security risk in southeastern Turkey. Tensions between the Turkish state and Kurdish populations have intensified further since the launch of Operation Olive Branch, a Turkish offensive against Kurdish groups in Syria, in January 2018.
Individuals in northern Iraq are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid the Qandil area, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities. The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.
Due to the Turkish government's ongoing conflicts with the PKK some Western governments advise against travel to areas much of the southeast part of the country, notably to areas along the Syrian and Iraqi borders.
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