First Published: 2012-10-12


Turkey extends mandate for Iraq strikes on PKK


Ankara’s mandate gives green light for Turkish military to conduct cross-border raids to hit suspected bases of Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.


Middle East Online

ANKARA - Turkey's parliament on Thursday extended the government's mandate to order military strikes against Kurdish rebels holed up in neighbouring Iraq for another year, reported the Anatolia news agency.

Turkey has renewed since 2007 the motion giving a green light for the Turkish military to conduct cross-border raids to hit suspected bases of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq.

Recent months have seen a sharp escalation of Kurdish rebel attacks, triggering Turkey's powerful military to launch an all-out offensive in the Kurdish-majority southeast.

Turkish jets also enter Iraqi airspace to strike rebel bases in the north of Iraq.

The latest air strike occurred early this week when at least 12 F-16 fighter jets took off from the Diyarbakir base in the southeast and targeted four camps in the Kandil Mountains and the surrounding area where the PKK leadership is believed to be hiding.

The vote in the parliament comes after Iraq moved last week to end Turkey's military presence in the north of the country, saying it rejected any foreign bases on its soil or action by foreign forces, signalling a further deterioration in ties between the two neighbours.

Since the 1990s Turkey has maintained several military bases in the autonomous Kurdistan region of north Iraq, where the PKK also has bases.

Ties between Iraq and Turkey have been strained by several disputes this year, including Ankara's refusal to extradite Iraqi vice president Tareq al-Hashemi, who has been sentenced to death in absentia by a Baghdad court.

About 45,000 people have been killed since the PKK, which is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Ankara and much of the international community, took up arms for autonomy in Kurdish-majority southeastern Turkey in 1984.


New report accuses Syria of chemical attack in Qmenas village

For second day, Iraq forces clash with ISIS in Kirkuk

Battles rage in Yemen despite three-day truce

Turkey PM warns EU: Turkey has alternatives!

Food crisis reaching critical levels north of South Sudan

Turkey hits Kurdish group in Syria again

Kremlin aims to 'liberate' Syria with Assad in power

Egypt court upholds 20-year sentence for Morsi

Islamic Jihad stages show of force in Gaza

UN says 'crimes' in Aleppo are 'of historic proportions'

IS sniper kills Iraqi journalist in Kirkuk

US official says coalition should target IS in Raqa after Mosul

Moscow extends Aleppo ceasefire

Italy PM says officials should have voted against UNESCO Jerusalem resolution

Syrian ‘Toy Smuggler’ accused of fraud

UN: IS may use civilians as human shields in Mosul

Armed men attack refugee boat off Libya

US says will work with Turkey to deal IS 'lasting defeat'

Moscow ‘highly concerned’ at jihadists’ refusal to leave Aleppo

Four Palestinians arrested by their security forces for settlement visit

Mauritania president says no change to two-term limit

UN delays Aleppo evacuations due to lack of security assurances

Oman denies reports of arms smuggling to Yemen

Israel looking to buy three more German submarines

83 migrants rescued off Cyprus

Under pressure in Mosul, IS fighters attack Kirkuk

Air strikes hit Yemen rebels despite ceasefire

US officials: Iran boosting arms sales to Huthis via Oman

Iraq forces make gains against IS near Mosul

Arab coalition accuses Yemen rebels of breaching truce

Italian PM blocks EU sanctions threat against Russia over Aleppo

Pentagon chief in Turkey for talks on tensions with Iraq

Israeli occupation troops kill Palestinian teenager

Iraqis flee IS-held Mosul for war-torn Syria

Five years after his death, Kadhafi's 'Green Book' is ridiculed in Libya

Iraq issues warrant for former governor of Mosul

EU leaders threaten sanctions against Assad allies

Syria army urges residents to evacuate Aleppo during ceasefire

British warships shadow Syria-bound Russian naval force

Turkey unexpectedly keeps interest rate steady

British PM urges united EU response to Russia over Syria 'atrocities'

UN gets ‘green light’ from all parties for Aleppo evacuations

Iran president: we must be hospitable to foreign businessmen

British Al-Jazeera reporter freed in Somalia

Turkish planes raid US-backed Kurdish militias