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Turkey takes on Kurds in evolving Qandil operation

Although Ankara seems determined to reach the PKK stronghold of Qandil in Iraq, it faces many obstacles to sustaining such an operation against Kurdish militants in the punishing mountain region.
Turkish soldiers conduct military exercises near the Habur crossing gate between Turkey and Iraq on September 27, 2017 in the Silopi district, southeast Turkey. 
Iraqi soldiers on September 26 took part in a Turkish military drill close to the Iraqi border on Tuesday, an AFP photographer said, a day after Iraq's Kurdish region held a vote on independence.  / AFP PHOTO / ILYAS AKENGIN        (Photo credit should read ILYAS AKENGIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite growing tension over the June 24 elections, Turkey’s agenda in recent days has been taken over by its military operation against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq’s Sidekan region.

At the moment, about 1,500 Turkish troops of a commando brigade and a light infantry brigade responsible for border security at Semdinli, along with gendarmerie and army special operations battalions, are trying to open a corridor to advance from Sidekan toward Qandil, the "headquarters" of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

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