Skip to main content

Inside Turkey’s raid on Iraqi cave where 13 captives were killed

The aftershocks of Turkey’s controversial raid on a PKK base inside Iraq are likely to pose the first test to the Biden administration in its complex relations with Turkey and Iraq.

Ankara has many questions to answer over the deaths of 13 captives at the hands of Turkish Kurdish militants in a mountainous cave in northern Iraq, but information obtained by Al-Monitor suggests that a potentially momentous Turkish operation might have gone awry at the last minute.

On Feb. 12, Turkey woke up to the news that three officers from the Turkish special forces had been killed and several wounded in the Gara region of northern Iraq, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the Turkish border. For more than three decades, the mountainous area has served as a major logistical and training base for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought Ankara since 1984 and is considered a terrorist group by much of the international community.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.