PKK supporters rally in Istanbul against crackdown on Kurds

The supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey have launched a rally in the city of Istanbul to protest against Ankara’s growing crackdown on Kurdish militants.

In the early hours of Friday, PKK supporters gathered in the Gazi district of Istanbul to show their anger at Ankara’s recent deadly operations against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.

The protesters reportedly blocked the streets by lighting fires, and engaged in clashes with police forces. Video footage released by Ruptly showed demonstrators throwing Molotov cocktails and fire bombs at police vehicles.

Turkish forces also used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the angry protesters.

Earlier, clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants claimed the lives of seven people, including a seven-year-old boy, in southeast Turkey.

Ankara said the fighting between the two sides broke out after the PKK militants launched a rocket attack against a military outpost in the district of Cizre in Sirnak Province.

The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s. The conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead.

There has been renewed conflict between the PKK and Turkish security forces since July. Turkey has been launching airstrikes against purported Daesh targets in Syria as well as PKK positions in Iraq after a Daesh bomb attack left 32 people dead in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc on July 20.

A shaky ceasefire that had stood since 2013 was declared null and void by the PKK following the Turkish airstrikes against the group.

By Press TV