On Saturday, May 4, Kurdish militants launched a cross-border shelling attack from Iraq on Hakkâri province, killing at least three Turkish soldiers. Turkish military forces reportedly returned fire across the Turkish-Iraqi border in a retaliatory counterterrorism operation targeting suspected militants. Similar armed cross-border exchanges are possible across the Turkish-Iraqi border over the near term.
Also, on May 4, the Turkish military launched retaliatory artillery fire following an attack by suspected People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters that killed one Turkish soldier in Syria's Tel Rifaat region.
Turkey has faced a Kurdish insurgency since 1984, spearheaded by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (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. The Turkish military has increasingly targeted Kurdish militants outside Turkish borders in recent months, with Turkish forces reportedly killing dozens of PKK militants in northern Iraq since the beginning of their offensive against Kurdish militants in the region in March 2018.
Individuals in southern and southeastern Turkey are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all travel near the Turkish-Iraqi and Turkish-Syrian borders, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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