The Turkish military helicopter crashed within Iraq territory under unknown circumstances.
According to The Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), it had shot down a Turkish helicopter in Iraqi Kurdistan in retaliation for the death of one of its commanders last week.
The Kurdistan People’s Defence Forces, or HPG, said one Sikorsky helicopter crashed shortly being after suffering heavy damage in militant fire on Sunday morning, while the other managed to leave the area.
In a statement Monday, the PKK said its forces in the mountainous Zagros region had “been able to score a direct hit and shoot down a Turkish helicopter.”
“Ten minutes after the shooting-down of the first helicopter, our forces hit another one … forcing it to flee,” the militant group said.
The attack took place near the town of Haftanin about 15 kilometers for the Turkey-Iraq border, the Sky News Arabia, and Al Hadath news channels reported on Monday.
Al Hadath said the crew were killed when their helicopter crashed.
There was no immediate confirmation of the incident from Turkish or Iraqi officials.
The mayor of Kani Massi, near the Turkish border, confirmed that a Turkish helicopter had crashed nearby. Servest Aqrawi told AFP that he was unable to confirm the second hit or the extent of the damage, given the difficulty of accessing the combat zone.
The reported attack comes amid a Turkish military air and land offensive against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq that was launched on June 17.
Turkey’s operation has been condemned by Iraq, which has twice summoned Turkey’s ambassador to lodge a protest.
The HPG statement said helicopter attack was carried out to avenge one of its commanders and two Iraqi soldiers who were killed in a Turkish drone attack last week