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Blinken walks back State Department ambiguity over Turkish hostages killed in Iraq

After an earlier statement suggesting Washington didn't necessarily buy Ankara's narrative on the killings, the State Department today said that "PKK terrorists bear responsibility."
Newly confirmed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives for a welcome ceremony at the State Department in Washington,DC on January 27, 2021. (Photo by CARLOS BARRIA / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CARLOS BARRIA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken affirmed in a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu Feb. 15 that the United States believes that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is responsible for the deaths of 13 Turkish citizens who perished during a Turkish offensive against the militants in Iraqi Kurdistan that was launched Feb. 10.

The US State Department said in a readout of the call that Blinken “expressed condolences for the deaths of Turkish hostages in northern Iraq and affirmed our view that PKK terrorists bear responsibility.”

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