The Turkish military has conducted a large retaliatory airstrike operation against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq on Thursday, July 18, after three Turkish diplomats were killed in a shooting in Erbil a day prior. Turkey's National Defense Ministry reported that a large number of targets - including weapons, shelters, and caves - were destroyed during the operation.
Similar Turkish military operations targeting suspected Kurdish militants are possible in northern Iraq in the near term.
On July 17, three Turkish diplomats, including the Turkish deputy consul, were killed in a shooting incident which occurred at the HuQQabaz restaurant on Airport Road in Erbil . As of July 18, the attack has not been claimed.
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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