Following days of bombardment: PKK claims over a dozen Turkish helicopters are attacking Zap region in Iraqi Kurdistan and attempting to land troops there. Zap is the most entrenched PKK area with webs of tunnels.
The helicopters reportedly flying in not from Turkey, but from Turkish bases inside Iraqi Kurdistan.
These renewed operations come just days after Kurdistan Region Government’s Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has met with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
PKK media have earlier claimed Turkey and KDP are preparing to start a new joint military operation against PKK in Iraqi Kurdistan. Cooperation of KDP with the Turkish military has only grown with the increase of Turkish bases inside the Yellow Zone.
Zap region used to be the Headquarters of PKK’s military wing since 1980s, even before the group occupied Qandil.
In another event, a drone strike targeted a pro-Iran Iraqi militia in West-Mosul; pro-militia sources claim the drone is Turkish and had also flown back to Kurdistan Region.
A separate report claimed a militia drone targeted a KRG oil pipeline near Turkish border. It is unclear who this drone belonged to.
As violence is increasing in Iraqi Kurdish, there is potential for it to gradually escalate into a civil war. Kurdish activists have been warning for internal strife for weeks now.
Another important piece of news in relation to this: Iraqi Sunni politician Athel Nujifi, known for his close ties to Turkey, has been sentenced for illegal spending for a Sunni militia in Mosul – which is known as a Turkish proxy and have been trained by Turks.
Athel Nujifi’s conviction comes after claims of growing Turkish efforts to establish its own affiliated militias in the region and growing its influence over the larger Mosul area, which it perceives as historically belonging to Turkey.