Twelve Turkish soldiers have been killed in the past two days in clashes with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq, the defence ministry said on Saturday.

The military carried out air strikes on PKK targets, “neutralising” at least 13 PKK militants on Saturday in ongoing clashes, the ministry said in a statement on social messaging platform X.

Turkey typically uses the term “neutralised” to mean killed. The ministry also said seven militants had been killed on Friday.

The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984.

Turkey regularly carries out air strikes in neighbouring Iraq as part of its offensive against PKK militants based there.