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.

 

Separate Syria air strikes kill at least 32

Turkish FM in Switzerland amid rising tensions with Europe

Two more 'significant arrests' over London attack

UN says Israel has ignored resolution on illegal settlements

Cities, monuments dim lights for Earth Hour

Gunmen kill Hamas official in Gaza

Veteran politician says Turkey referendum a 'test' for Kurds

More Algerian women in work, but husbands control wages

Beirut university settles US lawsuit over Hezbollah

1.1 million weekend travellers from Dubai hit by laptop ban

Shiite Lebanese women endure painful custody battles

Russia, China seek Iraq chemical weapons probe

Besieged Syrians struggle with dwindling dialysis supplies

Syria army retakes Damascus areas from rebels

Syria says peace talks must first focus on 'terrorism'

12 Syrian refugees dead after boat sinks off Turkey coast

Mosul displaced head into unknown

As war keeps them away, Yemen children dream of school

Ousted Egyptian president Mubarak freed from detention

Iraq's Sadr threatens boycott if election law unchanged

Israel, US fail to reach settlement agreement

Yemen rebel missile kills Saudi soldier

Britain arrests eight as IS claims Westminster attack

Man attempts to drive into crowd of shoppers in Belgiumís Antwerp

Palestinian FA chief says ball in Israel's court

Israel arrests Jewish teen over anti-Semitic terror threats

An Egypt court is to reopen a corruption probe into Mubarak

Bahrain frees award-winning AFP photographer

Erdogan slams 'pressure' on Turks in Bulgaria ahead of vote

Israel policeman suspended after caught on video beating Palestinian

Turkey summons Russia envoy over soldier death in Syria

Bahrain sentences three to death for police bombings

UN-backed Syria talks restart in Geneva

EU summons Turkey envoy over 'safety' remarks

400,000 'trapped' in west Mosul's Old City

Saudi film festival launch postponed after sandstorm

10 Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai roadside bombings

Qaeda, IS developing harder-to-detect bombs say experts

World leaders condemn Britain terror attack

Terrorist attack at Londonís Houses of Parliament

2016 saw sharp rise in illegal Israeli settlement projects

US-led coalition vows lasting victory against IS

Bahrain arrests photographer on unspecified charges

Humanitarian groups demand access to Yemen civilians suffering 'open-air massacre'

33 killed in US-led air strike on north Syria