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Turkey turns up heat on PKK in Iraqi Kurdistan

Iraqi Kurdish forces have deployed to a mountainous area long used as a camp ground by PKK militants, adding to the pressure the militants face from Turkey’s cross-border military operations in the region.
A member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) carries an automatic rifle on a road in the Qandil Mountains, the PKK headquarters in northern Iraq, on June 22, 2018. - Hundreds of Iraqi Kurds marched Friday to protest Turkish strikes against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) after Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara would press an operation against its bases. (Photo by SAFIN HAMED / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP via Getty Images)
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Turkey’s months-long military operations in border areas on Iraqi Kurdistan soil have turned up pressure on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has long used the region as a base in its armed campaign against Ankara, pushing the militants to move deeper into Iraqi Kurdistan, where their presence is causing friction with local Kurds and fanning fears of renewed Kurdish fratricide.

Tensions spiked in mid-October, when special forces under the direct command of Masrour Barzani, the prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), moved northeast of Dohuk to encircle Gare Mountain, which is one of the PKK’s camp areas in the region. After special forces deployed to at least 10 localities, commando units set up checkpoints in the area, according to Kurdish media outlets. 

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