Four killed in clashes between PKK and Turkish army – Kurdish source

Turkish soldiers in Cukurca, Hakkari, at the border with Iraq's Kurdistan region.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)’s armed wing has said three Turkish soldiers and one of its fighters were killed in clashes in southeastern Hakkari’s Cukurca district.

In a statement released Thursday, the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) said they had attacked two hills in the region on the border with Iraq manned by Turkish forces. Ensuing clashes resulted in the death of three soldiers and the injury of two, the statement added. A HPG fighter also died.

Turkish media confirmed clashes in the region but said only one soldier had died in Cukurca. The Turkish army has launched hundreds of military operations recently with the objective of destroying encampments belonging to the militant group.

Kurdish commanders recently warned of retaliatory attacks, saying the arrival of spring would give them favourable conditions to “take revenge.”

The warring sides usually give contradictory figures regarding casualties.

According to Turkish officials more than 10,000 PKK members have been killed in clashes since a return to conflict in July 2015. However experts have labelled this figure an ‘exaggerated’ number.

Turkish authorities have also denied the death of civilians during urban clashes between security personnel and the Kurdish Civil Defence Units (YPS) militia. A recent UN report said at least 2,000 people had been killed amidst grave human rights violations.