August 2011 Turkey–Iraq cross-border raids

On August 17, 2011, the Turkish Armed Forces launched multiple raids against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) camps based in Iraq, striking 132 targets.[6] Turkish military bombed PKK targets in northern Iraq in six days of air raids, according to General Staff.[7]

August 2011 Turkey–Iraq cross-border raids
Part of Kurdish–Turkish conflict
DateAugust 1724, 2011
Result Indesicive Turkish Victory. Turkish claim success for the bombing operation. PKK claim to have suffered few damages.


Turkish Air Force


Commanders and leaders
Mehmet Erden
Mehmet Veysi Ağar
Murat Karayılan
Sofi Nurettin
2,500[1] 800
Casualties and losses

90[2]-160 PKK militants killed, 80 wounded.[3] unknown civilian casualties

PKK claims 3 militants were killed on August 2011.[4]
ROJ TV, PKK's broadcast outlet and the Iraqi Foreign Ministry claimed that 7 Iraqi Kurdish civilians, including three under the age of 18 were killed in a car. ROJ TV has shown pictures which depict a car bombed in a road. In response to these allegations, Turkish ambassador to Iraq has delivered the visual evidence. The surveillance images shows that in the road there is no craters which would be created by high explosive bombs used by the Turkish military.[5]


Between July and August in southeast Turkey, PKK fighters killed 40 Turkish security personnel. The Turkish Army launched raids in response to those series of PKK attacks.

Turkish reprisal operation

A day before the operation, PKK fighters ambushed a troop convoy and killed nine soldiers.[8] The first six days of air raids, the Turkish Air Force attacked 132 PKK targets in northern Iraq, killing 90 to 100 militants. However, casualty figures could not be confirmed independently. According to Turkish army statements, 80 militants were wounded in the operations, which hit 73 shelters, eight stores and nine anti-aircraft positions.[2] [8]

Further attacks

In addition to the 132 PKK locations targeted by the Turkish Air Force, 349 targets in Qandil, Hakurk, Avasin-Basyan, Zap and Metina regions was bombed with artillery.[9] Turkish military announced that Turkish jets had bombed PKK targets on Northern Iraq on February 2012 but did not provide details.[10]


Six people were wounded early on 28 August at a beach in Antalya of Turkey, when explosives buried in the sand exploded. The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) had previously threatened to launch attacks targeting civilians and tourists. According to Today's Zaman, PKK was responsible for the bombing.[11]

PKK claimed 4 militants were killed on 24 September 2011.[12] PKK claimed 4 additional militants were killed on 28 September 2011, despite the initial claim that no militants were killed.[13][14]

Iranian operation

Iran began a new military push against Kurdish rebels on the border with Iraq, days after Turkey said its air strikes had killed up to 160 militants inside Iraqi territory. Iran said it had killed dozens of members of Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), an offshoot of the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).[15]

Responses on casualties

PKK denied Turkish military's claims on number of dead militants, and said that the number of militants killed released by military was a "baseless fabrication".[16] PKK spokesman Ahmed Deni said three fighters had been killed during initial strikes on Dohuk province in northern Iraq.[8] Barham Ahmed Hama Rasheed, mayor of the town of Rania, and officials in Northern Iraq claimed a family of seven were killed by the Turkish army on Sunday. According to Rasheed, among those killed was a 3 month old infant.[17] Kardo Mohammed, a member of the Iraqi Kurdish parliament, said the "shelling constituted a breach of international conventions and agreements between the two countries."[8]

Kurdish protests

2,000 people protested on Sunday in the town of Ranya as victims were buried. Another protest took place on Hakkari, and a member of BDP who was protesting the air assault died.[18]


  1. "Turkey strikes Kurd rebels in Iraq for third night". Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  2. "Turkey says 90-100 Kurd rebels killed in north Iraq raids". REUTERS. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  3. "Turkey: Up to 160 Kurd rebels killed in n. Iraq strikes". Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  4. "ANF - Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê". Archived from the original on 23 December 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  5. "TURKEY - Turkish-Iraqi ties strained over claims of civilian deaths". Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  6. Turkey says 90 to 100 Kurd rebels were killed in north Iraq raids
  7. Turkish army: 90-100 Kurd rebels killed in n. Iraq raids
  8. "Turkey reports heavy PKK losses after week of bombing". BBC. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  9. "Turkey Exacts a Toll on Kurdish Separatists". The New York Times. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  10. "Turkey hits PKK targets in northern Iraq - General - Worldbulletin News". World Bulletin. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  11. Three soldiers killed, two injured in Hakkari roadside mine blast Archived August 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  12. "ANF - Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  13. "ANF - Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  14. "ANF - Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  15. "Iran makes new military push against Kurdish rebels". The Jerusalem Post - Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  16. Turkey says it killed 100 Kurdish rebels in Iraq
  17. "Middle East". Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  18. BDP politician dies in clash with gendarmerie
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