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Turkish air force bombs Kurdish rebels across border

Latest update : 2008-09-26

Turkish fighter jets have bombed Kurdish guerrilla positions in northern Iraq, according to senior security sources. Turkish armed forces have recently conducted several cross-border operations.

ISTANBUL - At least 10 Turkish fighter jets bombed suspected Kurdish guerrilla positions in northern Iraq on Thursday, senior security sources said on Friday.

 

The sources, who declined to be named, told Reuters the strikes began after 1900 GMT on Thursday in two separate regions in northern Iraq.

 

"Last night two separate regions were bombed where the PKK was believed to be taking shelter," a high-ranking Turkish security official said.

 

The mayor of the town of Jarawa in Iraq, Azad Wassu, said there were Turkish air strikes on the Kandil mountains from 10 p.m. on Thursday until 12:30 a.m. He said there was no damage or casualties.

 

Turkish armed forces have conducted several cross-border operations, including a brief land offensive, against the Kurdistan Workers Party's (PKK) bases in mountainous northern Iraq over the past 12 months.

 

Turkey says it believes that thousands of separatist PKK guerrillas use northern Iraq to stage attacks inside Turkey.

 

The government has asked parliament to extend a mandate, which expires next month, to launch further military operations against the PKK in Iraq.

 

Since a land offensive in February, Turkey's military has confined its cross-border operations to air strikes and shelling against PKK targets.

 

Ankara blames the PKK, considered a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union, for the deaths of more than 40,000 people since it launched its campaign for an ethnic Kurdish homeland in southeast Turkey in 1984.

Date created : 2008-09-26