Turkish planes bomb PKK targets in Iraq

A Turkish military airstrike targeted the Qandil area of Northern Iraq, a stronghold of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party), continuing a bombardment that began mid-December 2007.


Turkish planes bombed Kurdish rebel hide-outs in northern Iraq late Thursday in the latest in a series of cross-border strikes, the Anatolia news agency reported.

The agency, citing an unnamed official from the autonomous Kurdish administration of northern Iraq, said many planes took part in the raid, which began shortly before midnight and continued into Friday.

The strike targeted the Qandil area, a stronghold of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), it added.

Turkish warplanes have targeted PKK positions in northern Iraq since mid-December.

In February, the army conducted a week-long ground offensive against PKK hideouts in the region, where Ankara estimates more than 2,000 PKK militants take refuge.

The Turkish government has a one-year parliamentary authorisation, which expires in October, for raids across the border.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, has been fighting for self-rule in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984. The conflict has claimed more than 37,000 lives.

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