PJAK claims two of its fighters were killed in Mawat airstrike: statement

Aftermath of Turkish airstrike on May 27, 2020 (Photo Credit: NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — The Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) said on Friday (May 29) that two of their fighters were killed in an airstrike in Sulaimani’s Mawat district on Tuesday.

The Turkish government and a local official had previously identified the five victims as Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters.

PJAK said in a statement released by an affiliated media outlet that its fighters were traveling with three civilians in a vehicle when the airstrike occurred and that all five were killed.

It named the two fighters, who the group said were from Iranian Kurdistan. Mawat lies just a few miles from the Iranian border.

It did not release the names of the three others who died, saying it would do so in the future.

PJAK was founded in 2004 to fight for the rights and self-determination of Kurds in Iran. It has links with the PKK and, like that group, is a member of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK).

In its statement, the group said that it had been betrayed, otherwise the vehicle would not have been a target.

Observers had noted that it was rare for Turkey to conduct an airstrike against the PKK so far south, with most strikes taking place to the north and west in Erbil and Duhok governorates.

(NRT Digital Media)