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Turkey Launches More Strikes On Kurdish Rebels In Iraq Print E-mail

October 2008

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Turkey launched another round of airstrikes against Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq on Sunday, an Iraqi official said.

Turkish warplanes and artillery units bombed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) positions in villages near Amadi in Iraq's Duhuk Province, a provincial security official told CNN.

The official said the Turkish military operation started at 5:30 p.m. and lasted an hour and a half. There were no reports of casualties. 

Turkey said it was the sixth time in the past week it attacked the PKK in response to clashes that left at least 15 Turkish troops dead in the Turkey-Iraq border region last weekend.

The central Iraqi government has labeled the PKK a terrorist organization, banning its activities and closing its offices in the country two years ago. The United States and the European Union also consider the PKK a terrorist group.

It was the second round of Turkish strikes on northern Iraq this weekend. Late Friday and early Saturday, Turkish warplanes hit 31 targets in the Hakurk region of northern Iraq before returning. They "successfully completed the operation [and] safely returned to their bases," the Turkish military said.

A spokesman for the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Security Forces said Turkish warplanes and artillery units bombed the region from around 11 p.m. Friday until 1 a.m. Saturday. The spokesman, Jabbar Yawer, said there were no reports of casualties.

Turkish artillery shells also hit border villages in the Zakho area, targeting PKK positions for about an hour on Saturday afternoon, Yawer said.

Though the Iraqi government opposes the PKK, the organization continues to operate in the Qandil Mountains in northern Iraq bordering Turkey and Iran. The separatist faction has been fighting for self-rule in southeastern Turkey.

The Iraqi Kurdish Regional Security Forces provide security for Iraq's Kurdish regional government.


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