Iraqi border guards enforce posts to prevent Turkey advance

<p style="text-align: left;">The Iraqi military have set up border posts to prevent a Turkish cross-border operation from advancing further into the north of the country, the Associated Press reported on Friday.

Turkey has established at least a dozen posts in the territory, including in the Zakho district in northern province of Dohuk, as part of a military campaign, dubbed &ldquo;Operation Claw-Tiger&rdquo;, unnamed security officials told AP.

Turkey began the land and air operation &ldquo;Claw-Tiger&rdquo; on June 17 against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers&rsquo; Party (PKK) and groups Ankara says are affiliated with it.

Iraqi border guard commander Delir Zebari told the agency his troops erected two posts along the Khankiri mountain range to &ldquo;eliminate attacks on civilians in the area&rdquo;.

Since June 17, at least six Iraqi civilians have been killed as Turkish air strikes pounding PKK targets in the region.

Several countries are growing increasingly concerned over Turkey&rsquo;s military operations in Kurdistan Region, analyst Seth J. Frantzman told Ahval news agency.

Turkey regularly targets PKK in operations in northern Iraq and on home soil.

A Sulaimani-based journalist and Kurdish affairs analyst, has told Ahval news agency Turkey plans to carve out a buffer zone in Kurdistan Region in the north of Iraq.

Bestoon Khalid stated that Turkey is seeking to make a buffer zone in the north of Iraq and that the leadership of the Syrian Kurdish enclave known as Rojava is gaining experience and mastering administration and governance, continuing to say that the fight against Kurds always brings regional states together.

Head of the People's Defense Forces (HPG) Murat Karayilan argued in an interview published on Wednesday, July 1, by media outlets affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers&rsquo; Party (PKK) that Turkey wants to conquer the Kurdistan Region and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.

&ldquo;The aim of the enemy is to create a supposedly conflict-free zone. They did the same thing in Rojava,&rdquo; Karayilan said, using the Kurdish name for northeastern Syria.

&ldquo;They want to set up a safe zone from Khwakwrk [in Duhok governorate] to Afrin and, if they succeed, they will conquer the whole region and the Kurdistan Region also,&rdquo; he added in the interview.

The HPG is the armed wing of the PKK, which has been waging a decades long fight against Ankara to achieve Kurdish rights in southeastern Turkey.

According to a militia group spokesman, Turkish troops have already moved up to 25 miles into Iraqi territory as part of Operation Claw-Tiger, the broadcaster reported.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, including 7,918 members of Turkey&rsquo;s security forces, 5,557 civilians and 22,101 PKK members between 1981 and 2012, according to a report by Turkish parliament.

Reporter&rsquo;s code: 50101

News Code 128173

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