The Ministry of Interior reported that security forces killed six suspected Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants during a domestic security operation in Bitlis province on Sunday, September 6. The operation took place in Sehi district and was carried out with the support of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and a combat helicopter. The ministry stated that two of the six militants were on their most wanted list.
Further security operations are likely in the region over the near term and resultant clashes between security forces and militants are possible.
Turkish security forces regularly conduct operations in eastern and southeastern provinces, where the PKK has long attempted to establish a presence. Turkey has been faced with a Kurdish insurgency since 1984, spearheaded by the PKK and concentrated in the southeast, demanding increased autonomy and an end to the oppression of Kurdish groups within the country. The armed conflict resumed in 2015 following the dissolution of a ceasefire established between the government and the PKK in 2013. The conflict has left over 40,000 people dead since 1984 and associated violence continues to pose a significant security risk in southeastern Turkey.
Due to the ongoing conflict between the Turkish government and the PKK, some Western governments advise against travel to various southeastern areas, notably including areas along the Syrian and Iraqi borders.
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