First Published: 2008-10-11

 
Turkish jets bomb Kurdish rebels targets in Iraq
 

Turkish warplanes bomb 31 Kurdistan Workers' Party positions in northern Iraq overnight.

 

Middle East Online

The jets returned safely to their bases

ANKARA - Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish rebel targets in neighbouring Iraq overnight, the latest in a series of raids after a bloody rebel attack on a Turkish border outpost last week, the army said Saturday.

A statement said 31 Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) positions in the Harkurk area along the border were successfully hit in the strike, and were then targeted with artillery fire.

The jets returned safely to their bases, it added, without giving other details.

It was the sixth Turkish air raid in northern Iraq since October 3 when PKK rebels crossing from their bases in the region attacked a Turkish border outpost, backed by heavy weapons fire from the other side of the border.

Seventeen soldiers and at least 23 militants were killed, according to army figures.

The daytime assault was followed on Wednesday by a machine-gun attack on a police bus in Diyarbakir, the main city of Turkey's Kurdish-majority southeast, which claimed five lives.

The bus came under fire just as parliament in Ankara extended by one year the government's mandate to order cross-border military operations in northern Iraq against the PKK, which has long enjoyed safe haven in the region.

Ankara has accused the autonomous Kurdish administration of northern Iraq of tolerating the PKK on its territory and even aiding the rebels, who, it says, obtain weapons and explosives in the region for attacks against Turkish targets across the border.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government is under pressure to step up action against the PKK and toughen its stance towards the Iraqi Kurds.

The country's civilian and military leadership is scheduled to convene Tuesday to outline fresh measures to combat the rebels after an intitial meeting Thursday.

The Turkish army has carried out a series of air raids and a week-long ground incursion against PKK camps in northern Iraq since the government obtained its first one-year mandate for cross-border military action on October 17, 2007.

Turkish forces have killed about 640 PKK militants this year, some 400 of them in cross-border operations in northern Iraq, according to army figures.

The PKK took up arms for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey's southeast in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed about 44,000 lives.

Ankara has undertaken a series of reforms that boosted Kurdish cultural freedoms and relaxed stringent security arrangements in the southeast.

 

Polisario chief dies ‘after long illness’

Aid group warns of catastrophe in the making in Fallujah

Lieberman sworn in as Israel defence minister

Recovery in oil price eases pressure on OPEC

EU most senior lawyer backs work headscarf ban

Israeli court rules Sara Netanyahu harassed worker

Sudan detains eight human rights activists

Bahrain frees opposition activist, toddler son

EU warns migrants could be used as drug mules

IS presses assault in Aleppo province

Libya government allies capture coastal town from ISIS

New Yemen clashes kill at least 38 people in 24 hours

Ex-Miss Turkey sentenced 'for insulting Erdogan'

Death sentences for attack on Bahrain police upheld

Istanbul locked down on anniversary of Gezi Park demos

UN envoy calls for Libya unity to counter ISIS

Egypt journalist union leaders to face trial

Germany risks Turkey ties with Armenian 'genocide' vote

Kurd-led fighters seize more ground from ISIS in Syria

Iraq forces battle defiant IS outside Fallujah

Russian warplanes hit hospital, homes in Syria's Idlib

Saudi intercepts ballistic missile from Yemen

Hamas executes three men for murder in Gaza Strip

Egypt probes teenage girl's death during female circumcision operation

Jordan heads into elections by fall after parliament dissolution

Turkey to abandon migrant deal if no visa-free travel

Egypt court sentences Brotherhood leader to life in prison

Kuwait jails members of ruling family for insulting Emir

Tunisia blames ‘terrorist elements’ for deadly landmine blast

Turkey offers to join forces for Syria operation -- without Kurds

Sanctions gone, Iran drums up business with West

Starving Iraqis risk all to flee crumbling rule of ISIS

Iraq forces enter ISIS-held Fallujah from three directions

Chief negotiator of Syria opposition quits over failed talks

Bahrain appeal court ramps up jail sentence against Sheikh Ali Salman

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of sowing ‘sedition’ in Iraq

Israel police send Netanyahu spending file to prosecutors

Bahrain court upholds life terms for five 'spies'

Investigators need 12 days to recover EgyptAir black boxes

Iraq troops prepare for final assault on ISIS-held Fallujah

Iraq Kurdish forces launch offensive east of Mosul

Shipwrecks in Mediterranean claim up to 700 lives in one week

Iran blames Saudi Arabia for Hajj impasse

ISIS offensive triggers mass displacement in northern Syria

Without clear roadmap, Libya unity government fails to bring change