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Turkey's latest attack on PKK militant in Iraqi Kurdistan meant as show of strength

In recent months, Turkish drones have picked off a string of mid-level commanders in Iraqi Kurdistan and northeast Syria.
Syrian Kurds carry flags and a portrait of Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan as they demonstrate on June 10, 2021, in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli, against the Turkish offensive on PKK areas in northern Iraq.

Turkey’s latest hit job on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) operatives in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region marks a troubling turn for the militant group, as it continues to bleed fighters in the Turkish military’s ongoing offensive across its southeastern borders.

The victim, Yasin Bulut, who went by the codename Shukri Sarhat, was gunned down by an alleged Turkish intelligence asset on Friday in Sulaimaniyah, the second-largest city in the Iraqi Kurdish enclave that is governed by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). The PUK has traditionally been more friendly to the PKK than its rival, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iraq (KDP). The KDP holds sway further north in Erbil and in the large mountain ranges skirting Turkey, across which the PKK roams.

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