Turkish planes bomb Kurdish rebels in Iraq

www.africasia.com - 18 August 2011

Turkish planes bombed Kurdish PKK positions in northern Iraq for a second night Thursday, the rebels and news agencies said, hours after Ankara vowed new tough measures to counter the outlawed group.

The bombardments on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels came in response to their bloody attack in southeast Turkey on Wednesday which killed nine members of the Turkish security forces, and signaled an upsurge in violence between the historical enemies.

The bombing operations by the Turkish Air Force are the first time in more than a year that Turkey has carried out air strikes on PKK bases in northern Iraq.

The latest mission targeted a PKK command-post on Mount Qandil, near the border with Iran, pro-Kurdish Firatnews said.

"The bombing started again around 10 minutes ago," Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) spokesman Dozdar Hammo told AFP at 11:00 pm (2000 GMT). He added that the bombings targetted rebel bases in the Qandil, al-Zab and Khowakirk areas near Iraq's border with Turkey.

Hammo said no casualties had resulted from the raid, or earlier ones on Thursday morning and Wednesday night.

According to Turkey's IHA press agency, 16 F-16 fighter jets took off at 19H00 GMT from bases in Turkey and headed to northern Iraq.

The second bombing raid by Turkey also followed a new rebel attack earlier on Thursday in the southern province of Siirt.

PKK gunmen raided two Turkish military posts by grenade and machine-gun fire, injuring three soldiers and four civilians, local security sources said. (...)