A Turkish drone strike on Aug. 11 killed two members of Iraq’s border guard and the driver of the vehicle they were in, Reuters said, citing the Iraqi military.
The attack took place in the Sidakan area in northeastern Iraq, near the Turkish and Iranian borders, the military said in a statement, calling the attack “flagrant aggression.” The area is part of Iraq’s autonomous region of Kurdistan.
The drone strike happened as the officers “were in meetings with” members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Ihsan al-Chalabi, mayor of Sidekan, was quoted by Rudaw as saying. Turkey has not yet commented on the strike.
This is the first time Iraqi soldiers have been killed since Turkey began two military operations in northern Iraq against the PKK in June.
Ankara launched two separate operations in northern Iraq against the PKK on June 14 and June 16, in response to what it said was an increase in militant attacks on Turkish army bases along the border between the countries.
The Turkish military’s airstrikes in the region are nothing new, but a such a coordinated air and ground operation does not have a precedent.
The PKK is listed as a terror group by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU. The group allegedly uses about 81 locations in northern Iraq as bases.
Iraq has already several times slammed Ankara over the military operations on its soil.