On Wednesday, June 17, Turkish forces launched a military operation into northern Iraq against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) positions. Commandos, supported by the Air Force, fire support vehicles, helicopters, and UAVs entered the Haftanin region (Duhok province) following an artillery bombardment. The Turkish military stated that the operation, named Claw-Tiger, was ongoing as of 03:00 (local time).
The operation follows a series of airstrikes targeting PKK positions throughout northern Iraq on Sunday, June 14, where 81 targets were reportedly destroyed.
Further Turkish operations against Kurdish positions in northern Iraq are likely in the near to medium term. Retaliatory PKK attacks in southern Turkey are a possibility 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. Turkish forces have reportedly killed dozens of PKK militants in northern Iraq since the beginning of their offensive against Kurdish militants in the region in March 2018.
Individuals in northern Iraq are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.
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