Kurdish militants claim to have shot down Turkish helicopter in Iraq
Turkish military operations in northern Iraq are being supported by warplanes, attack helicopters, artillery and armed and unarmed drones. Turkish Ministry of Defence via AP
Kurdish militants shot down a Turkish military helicopter over northern Iraq and damaged another, according to statement released to media outlets by the armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The Kurdistan People’s Defence Forces, or HPG, said one Sikorsky helicopter crashed shortly being after suffering heavy damage in militant fire on Sunday morning, while the other managed to leave the area.
The attack took place near the town of Haftanin about 15 kilometres for the Turkey-Iraq border, the Sky News Arabia and Al Hadath news channels reported on Monday.
Al Hadath said the crew were killed when their helicopter crashed.
There was no immediate confirmation of the incident from Turkish or Iraqi officials.
The reported attack comes amid a Turkish military air and land offensive against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq that was launched on June 17.
Turkey’s operation has been condemned by Iraq, which has twice summoned Turkey’s ambassador to lodge a protest.
The HPG statement said helicopter attack was carried out to avenge one of its commanders and two Iraqi soldiers who were killed in a Turkish drone attack last week