An alleged attack by Kurdish rebels in southern Turkey have left two police officers dead. Violence has increased in Turkey as the military steps up airstrikes against PKK militants in northern Iraq.
Turkish authorities said Friday that an attack by Kurdish rebels on a police station have left five people dead: two police officers and two of the attacking militants.
The attack on the police station is being blamed on members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and occurred late Thursday in the town of Pozanti in the southern part of the country. According to the Governor of the Adana province, Mustafa Buyuk, the rebels were armed with automatic rifles and grenades. In a firefight between police and the rebels, two officers and two militants were killed.
Turkey began participating in a US-led coalition last week targeting the group known as “Islamic State” (IS) in northern Iraq with airstrikes. The focus of Turkey’s airstrikes shifted to PKK, however, after another PKK-claimed attack killed two police officers.
Turkish Primer Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said the attacks against the PKK would continue until the rebels ceased fighting. The PKK is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey and the party itself is banned.
The United States and some of its other allies are relying on Kurdish forces in northern Iraq to combat IS.