A Turkish drone attack has reportedly killed two Iraqi army officers in the northern Kurdistan region on Tuesday, August 11. Iraqi officials stated that the two officers were the commanders of border guard battalions. Witnesses reported clashes between forces belonging to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Iraqi forces earlier on Tuesday, with the drone strike coming as commanders met in an effort to defuse tensions. The strike reportedly took place in the Bradost area, north of Erbil, and was part of Turkey's ongoing "Operation Claw-Tiger" against Kurdish targets in northern Iraq, which began in June.
Further Turkish strikes against Kurdish targets are likely in the near term. Retaliatory attacks in southern Turkey are possible as Turkish operations continue.
Turkey has faced a Kurdish insurgency since 1984, spearheaded by the Kurdistan Worker's 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.
Turkey launched its latest cross-border military operation, dubbed "Operation Claw-Tiger", into Iraq's Kurdistan region on June 17, targeting suspected members of the PKK. At least five civilians have been killed since the operation was launched, as well as several PKK and Turkish soldiers.
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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