Turkish airstrikes kill 13 PKK militants in southeast Turkey: Military

Turkish airstrikes have hit the positions of a separatist Kurdish militant group in southeastern Turkey, claiming the lives of 13 militants, military sources say.

The military officials said Turkish F-16 fighter jets pounded the positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in Siirt Province in southeastern Turkey on Sunday afternoon, killing the 13 militants.

The air raids were carried out on a tip-off, according to the sources.

The officials further said that search operations, supported by drones, were ongoing in the area to find more suspected PKK militants.

Turkish soldiers set up a checkpoint at the entrance to Lice district in Diyarbakir, Turkey, June 26, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Ankara has been engaged in a large-scale campaign against the PKK in its southeastern border region in the past few months. The Turkish military has also been conducting offensives against the positions of the group in northern Iraq.

The operations began in the wake of a deadly July 2015 bombing in the southern Turkish town of Suruc. More than 30 people died in the attack, which the Turkish government blamed on the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.

After the bombing, the PKK militants, who accuse the government in Ankara of supporting Daesh, engaged in a series of supposed reprisal attacks against Turkish police and security forces, in turn prompting the Turkish military operations.

Detained Turkish soldiers who allegedly took part in a military coup arrive on a bus at a courthouse in Istanbul, July 20, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The Turkish government involvement in the anti-PKK operations comes as it is also engaged in a struggle against military insiders believed to have been involved in a July 15 failed military attempt to topple the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ankara has dismissed nearly 40 percent of the army’s generals and admirals along with hundreds of lower-ranking military personnel over allegations of involvement in the coup attempt and their links to Fethullah Gulen, whom the Turkish government blames for the coup.

Gulen has dismissed the allegation.

By Press TV