Two Turkish troops and at least 35 Kurdish fighters have died in fighting in northern Iraq, the Turkish military said on Saturday. The military has said a total of seven troops and at least 79 fighters have died since Turkey launched a ground incursion into Iraq late on Thursday.
The Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, said it killed 15 troops in the clashes and was in possession of their bodies, the Firat news agency reported, citing spokesman Ozgur Gabar. Turkey's state run news agency, Anatolia, said warplanes bombed Kurdish bases in the Qandil mountain range, near the border between Iraq and Iran.
Iraq's foreign minister said Baghdad did not approve Turkey's incursion and said it should end as soon as possible. "This is a limited military incursion into a remote,isolated and uninhabited region. But if it goes on, I think itcould destabilise the region because really one mistake couldlead to further escalation," Hoshiyar Zebari told the BBC.
On his part, President Massoud Barzani of the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq warned Ankara that it will face "large-scale" resistance if it targets civilians in its ground incursion.