ANKARA, Turkey– On September 25, at least 10 Turkish warplanes launched an air strike against 16 suspected PKK targets in northern Iraq. According to the PKK, the strike killed one of its members and wounded two civilians. The Turkish military has not given any casualty figures for the latest raid.
Yesterday’s bombing campaign targeted the villages of Kutak, Surage and Kozala in the Qandil Mountains in Iraq. Several homes were destroyed, displacing at least five families. In addition, PKK claims that a school was also damaged.
According to Brig. Gen. Metin Gurak, spokesman for the Turkish military, the raid was in retaliation to the numerous attacks launched by the PKK against Turkish soldiers during the past month, which had claimed the lives of 17 Turkish soldiers.
In October 2007, the Turkish parliament authorized the military to step up activities against PKK strongholds in northern Iraq. Over the past year the Turkish military has carried out numerous aerial raids and a week long ground incursion against PKK rebels in Iraq. Last week the Turkish government stated it will request parliament extend the mandate by one year. The current mandate is set to expire October 17. According to the military, the PKK rebels regularly carry out cross-border attacks from their bases in northern Iraq against Turkish targets.
For more information, please see:
AFP – Turkish Jets Hit 16 Rebel Targets in Northern Iraq– 26 September 2008
Al Jazeera –Turkey Bombs PKK Bases in Iraq – 26 September 2008
Associated Press – Turkish Warplanes Hit 16 Rebel Targets in Iraq– 26 September 2008
BBC – Turkey Planes Hit PKK Rebels – 26 September 2008
Jerusalem Post – Turkish Warplanes Hit Kurdish Targets in Iraq – 26 September 2008