Conflict watch: From Syria to Afghanistan, all you need to know about the week that was

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, armed with rocket launchers, have been waging a bloody campaign against security forces since Ankara launched a two-pronged offensive to bomb Islamic State militants in Syria.

Updated: August 17, 2015 12:00:28 am

Turkey: Kurdish rebels in the country’s southeast carried out a wave of fresh attacks on the Turkish army last week, the latest killing three soldiers. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, armed with rocket launchers, have been waging a bloody campaign against security forces since Ankara launched a two-pronged offensive to bomb Islamic State militants in Syria and PKK rebels in northern Iraq and southeast Turkey. According to AFP, 34 Turkish force members have died in attacks by the PKK.

Libya: The Islamic State’s Libyan branch, a rival Islamist group and forces loyal to the official government have been battling each other in two Libyan cities over last week, leading to at least 46 deaths and several non-fatal casualties. The fighting typifies the chaos in the oil-producing country, where two governments, former rebels and Islamist groups are battling for control. In Benghazi, Islamic State attacked forces loyal to the official government, destroying a tank and killing at least nine people. Meanwhile, east of capital Tripoli, Islamic State fighters battled a rival Salafist Muslim group and residents.

Syria: A US source said last week that the Islamic State used chemical agents — specifically, mustard gas — in an attack on Kurdish fighters two weeks ago. If authenticated, the chemical attack would be an escalation of the yearlong conflict in Syria, and could increase pressure on the Barack Obama administration to intervene more forcefully in the war against the militant group. Meanwhile, monitoring groups have revived accusations that the US and its allies are not careful enough about who is killed by their air campaign after reports said that a US airstrike killed 8 civilians in the country’s north last Tuesday.

Compiled by Sagar Shah

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