Turkish jets bomb 60 Kurdish PKK rebel
targets in Iraqi Kurdistan
August 18, 2011
ANKARA, — Turkish jets bombed 60 targets in
Iraqi Kurdistan region used as bases by the
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) following an ambush
by the rebel group that
troops, the military said Thursday.
A PKK spokesman, reporting no casualties, said the
air strikes in northern Iraq, the first since late
2010, carried on through Wednesday night and
Turkey's air force launched a "successful" operation
against 60 targets in the Qandil and Hakurk regions
late Wednesday, said the General Staff in a
statement posted on its website.
Turkish warplanes bombed PKK rebels bases in Iraqi
The aircraft involved all returned safely to bases
in Turkey, it added.
Some 168 targets in the Qandil region were under
intense artillery fire before the military operation
began, the military said.
Dozdar Hammo, the PKK spokesman, said the jets also
bombed rebel bases in the Qandil and Khanairah areas
of north Iraq near the Turkish border for about an
hour from around 8:00 am (0500 GMT) on Thursday.
Hammo said no casualties were reported from the
latest strikes or the raids on Wednesday night,
which he said lasted for about two hours starting at
9:00 pm (1800 GMT).
The Turkish military said its operations at home and
in the north of Iraq, used as a safe haven by the
PKK, "will continue until it is eradicated."
The strikes came hours after the deadly attack on
Wednesday in the town of Cukurca in the southeast of
the country claimed by the PKK.
On June 16, the PKK killed 13 soldiers in
Diyarbakir, another Kurdish southeastern province.
Since it was established
in 1984, the Kurdistan Workers' Party PKK has been
fighting the Turkish state, which still denies the
constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a
Kurdish state in the south east of the country,www.ekurd.netsparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous
and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who
constitute the greatest minority in Turkey,
numbering more than 20 million. A large Turkey's
Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.
PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees,
lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the
way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within
Turkey, reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader
Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action against
the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish
Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population
as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural
rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish
language and private Kurdish language courses with
the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish
politicians say the measures fall short of their
The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by
Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the
blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which
overturned a decision
to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its
political wing on the European Union's terror list.
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