3 Turkish soldiers killed in clashes in northern Iraq

ANKARA, TURKEY (AP) — Three Turkish soldiers were killed in a new Turkish military offensive against a Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said yesterday.

Two of soldiers were killed on Wednesday in a clash that erupted in northern Iraq’s Gara region on the first day of the latest Turkish operation, the ministry said. Another soldier died of his wounds yesterday.

The military said Turkish jets retaliated by striking targets of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). There was no immediate comment from the militant group on the clashes.

Turkey has carried out numerous cross-border ground and aerial offensives against the PKK, which maintains bases in northern Iraq. The group began an insurgency against Turkey in the mainly Kurdish southeast in 1984 and the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people.

The PKK is considered to be a terrorist group by both the United States and European Union.