Five Turkish soldiers killed in clashes, one fatally struck by lightning in KRI
Six Turkish troops were killed in Turkish military's ongoing campaign in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in two days, according to statements by the Turkish Defense Ministry.
The ministry recently announced that three soldiers, identified as army sergeant Eyyup Ugurlu, private Mehmet Demir and private Hakan Koroglu were killed on Saturday in clashes with the Kurdish fighters affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and a further two were injured, as it added that army sergeant Mustafa Isik was "killed by lightning strike" in the same area.
The Ministry previously announced that army sergeant Mustafa Yildiz and private Ismail Unal were killed in clashes on Friday.
"Operation Claw Lock"
The Turkish military has launched its latest campaign in KRI - dubbed "Operation Claw Lock" by Turkish officials - in mid April. Large numbers of troops, drones, artillery and war planes take part in the campaign.
While Ankara says that the campaign is carried out in territories along the border line, Iraqi Defense Ministry said in a July report that Turkish forces breached Iraqi borders by 105 km, setting up five military bases and over a hundred military outposts in Iraqi soil.
The clashes between Turkish troops and Kurdish fighters have left scores of combatants dead on both sides. The actual figures of casualties remain unknown as those announced by the sides are highly controversial.