One soldier was killed when a Turkish military helicopter crashed in northern Iraq during a military operation, the Defense Ministry announced on Monday.
Seven soldiers were pulled alive from the wreckage of the Sikorsky helicopter, while one was declared to have died after the completion of a search and rescue mission.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar issued a message of condolence for Spc. Sgt. Ümit Kesti on Twitter.
The accident took place late Sunday in an area where Turkish forces are deployed as part of Operation Claw-Lock, according to the ministry statement.
Operation Claw-Lock, an air and ground offensive that targets hideouts of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Metina region of Iraq, was launched on April 18.
The PKK, which has been waging a bloody campaign in Turkey’s Southeast since 1984, is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is accused by his critics of fomenting nationalism in the country through such military operations in neighboring Syria and Iraq ahead of the 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections to win more public support.
Opinion polls show Erdoğan and his election ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), losing considerable public support amid the rising cost of living and a record annual inflation of around 80 percent.