Three members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were killed in eastern Bitlis province of Turkey, the Turkish interior ministry said on Sunday.
Turkish security forces conducted an air-backed operation in the region, the ministry said in a written statement noting that the operations are underway in the region.
Turkish security forces have long been conducting operations against the PKK in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq where the group has hideouts.
These operations are intensified in the past few months. PKK members often use northern Iraq to launch cross-border terrorist attacks in Turkey.
In a separate statement on Sunday, the defense ministry also stated the Turkish commandos “neutralized” two members of the Syrian Kurdish People‘s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria, as they were trying to “infiltrate into the region of Peace Spring aiming to destroy peace and security environment“.
Turkey sees the YPG group as the Syrian branch of the PKK. The Turkish army launched many operations in order to create a YPG-free zone along its border within the neighboring country.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for over 30 years, which has claimed lives of more than 40,000 people.