Members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) inspect a crater reportedly caused by an air strikes by Turkish warplanes on July 29, 2015 in the Qandil mountain, the PKK headquarters in northern Iraq. AFP PHOTO / SAFIN HAMED
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Turkish troops are advancing on the mountainous Qandil region of northern Iraq where the leadership of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is based, a senior minister said Monday, as military operations are stepped up.Outlawed by Ankara and its Western allies, the PKK has waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, and the army is battling the group's militants both inside Turkey and in northern Iraq.Turkish warplanes often bomb PKK hideouts in northern Iraq while the security forces sporadically launch cross-border incursions in pursuit of rebel fighters.Three Turkish soldiers were killed Sunday in an attack by the PKK in Iraq's southeastern Hakkari province, state-run Anadolu news agency said.The northern Iraq operations come as Turkey prepares for June 24 parliamentary and presidential polls.
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