Turkey Says Militant Group PKK Executed 13 Hostages in Iraq


Photographer: Safrin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

Turkey said a Kurdish separatist group executed 13 hostages in Iraq, an account that could serve Ankara’s campaign to end U.S. support for Kurdish militants in neighboring Syria.

The hostages, who were held in the mountains of northern Iraq for years, were shot by their PKK captors as Turkish troops were about to stage a rescue operation, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said early Sunday. The account couldn’t immediately be verified.

Understanding the Feuds Plaguing U.S.-Turkey Alliance: QuickTake

The reported execution would mark the deadliest attack by the Kurdish separatist group in recent years. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will likely invoke it while pressing his years-long effort to end the U.S. arming of Kurdish fighters in Syria.



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