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.


Assad warns Russia failure may result in ‘destruction’ of whole Middle East

In rare step, Israel bars Palestinians from Jerusalem Old City

Iran nuclear review panel gives conditional nod to flawed deal

Turkey, EU strike plan to stem flow of migrants

Sohaib El Oussani reveals backstage of Europe Orient Documentary Film in Asilah

Police arrest suspected ISIS recruiters in Spain, Morocco

Erdogan urges Putin to reconsider air campaign in Syria

Iran expels Bahrain envoy in apparent retaliation

First hajj stampede bodies arrive in Iran from Saudi Arabia

US urges Libya rivals to move forward with peace deal

Israeli fire wounds at least 10 Palestinians in West Bank

UAE holds election for advisory council

Erdogan faces tough talks in meeting with EU leaders

Russia airstrikes target ISIS infrastructure facilities in Syria

Powers condemn targeting of Syrian opposition by Russia

Turkey accuses Russia of hitting Syria rebels to bolster Assad

Palestinians kill Israeli couple in West Bank shooting

Russia again strikes Assad regime's foes

Iran backs Russian military strategy in Syria

S&P: Gulf banks' net earnings set to slide

Russia confirms new air strikes on targets in Syria

12 killed in Ankara bus stop crash

Syrians, Afghans clash in German refugee centre

South Sudan's peace deal means little in Koch swamps

Trump: If I’m elected, Syrians go back home!

Iran says 464 dead in Saudi hajj stampede

Saudi, Iran agree to repatriate dead pilgrims

Abbas: Palestinians no longer feel bound by past agreements with Israel

Russia, US to hold ‘de-confliction’ talks on Syria

Three conditions as France voices concern over Russia involvement in Syria

Iraq Kurdish forces recapture land from ISIS jihadists

Tunisia buries Sousse gunman under strict security cordon

Iran diplomat missing after hajj stampede

Six days after hajj tragedy, Iran-Saudi tensions escalate

For first time in history, Palestinians to raise flag at UN

Finland freezes asylum decisions for Iraq, Somalia refugees

UK Labour Party ready to support Syria airstrikes, with conditions

Iran Foreign Minister under fire over ‘Obama handshake’

Parliamentary and religious support as Russia launches airstrikes in Syria

Assad regime strikes kill 27 civilians in central Syria

Iraq kidnappers free remaining 16 Turkish workers

Iran threatens 'fierce' reaction if Saudi Arabia does not repatriate hajj victims

Damascus confirms Assad request for military aid from Russia

Europe refugee crisis in focus at UN

France launches war crimes inquiry against Syria regime