Turkey's army says it has killed 35 Kurdish militants after the group reportedly attempted to storm a military base in southeastern Hakkari province. Early on Saturday, 30 July, members of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) allegedly tried to overrun the Turkish base from three directions.
The overnight attack came hours after clashes in the district between soldiers and the militants were reported in which eight soldiers died. The soldiers were reported to be carrying out security checks on the road near Cukurca, closer to the Iraq-Iran border, when they came under attack on Friday (29 July). The clashes also left 25 soldiers injured.
According to Turkish officials, the surging Kurdish militants were spotted by aerial inspection by the army forces, when they tried to take the base. Most of them were reportedly killed in airstrikes, while the rest were killed in a ground operation, Reuters news agency reported.
Nato's second-largest Turkish military is continuing to cope with the low-intensity fighting mainly in the south east Kurdish territory as its senior officials undergo a major reorganisation in following a two-day failed coup attempt earlier in July.
Turkey announced reshuffling of its armed forces, where some 1,700 military personnel were given dishonourable discharges for their alleged role in the failed coup. Some 40% of all generals and admirals were reported to have been dismissed so far.
Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed since PKK began its campaign in 1984. It was designated as a "terrorist group" by Turkey and many other countries when it took up arms in pursuit of establishing an independent state in south east Turkey.
A ceasefire and peace process between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces reportedly soared since.