30 PKK Members Killed in Turkey’s Raid

30 PKK Members Killed in Turkey’s Raid30 PKK Members Killed in Turkey’s Raid

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Turkish military had killed more than 30 Kurdish militants on Friday in a cross-border operation he described as part of the rebels’ “last struggle”.

Erdogan, addressing village leaders at the presidential palace on Tuesday, did not say where the targets were, but the military has been bombarding Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in the mountains of northern Iraq as well as the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey following the breakdown of a ceasefire in July, Reuters reported.

“Our security forces are continuing with their operations both inside and outside the country,” he said.

“We have had cross-border operations overnight and more than 30 PKK militants have been killed. These will continue for now but you should know that this is their last struggle.”

The most intense fighting since the 1990s has engulfed the mainly Kurdish southeast and virtually scotched a peace process Erdogan began three years ago. More than a hundred security personnel and hundreds of militants have been killed since the ceasefire broke down.

At least 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK–deemed a terrorist organization by the United States, Turkey and the European Union–launched its insurgency for greater Kurdish autonomy in 1984.

The escalating bloodshed has worsened political tensions ahead of a Nov. 1 parliamentary election, with Erdogan and the ruling AK Party he founded accusing pro-Kurdish lawmakers of being PKK sympathizers, which they deny.