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Turkey Launches Air Strikes against PKK in Iraq, Turkey - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The Turkish F-16s took off from the south-eastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir- Reuters

The Turkish F-16s took off from the south-eastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir- Reuters

Turkish armed forces said on Wednesday that the military carried out air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq and killed 26 militants in southeast Turkey.

Violence in Turkey has increasingly flared since a ceasefire with the Kurds broke down last July.

Tuesday’s air strikes targeted shelters, caves and ammunition depots used by the PKK in northern Iraq and rural areas near the southeastern Turkish town of Semdinli, at the mountainous border with Iraq and Iran, the military statement said.

The military says more than a thousand militants have been killed in the largely Kurdish southeast since the 2-1/2 year PKK ceasefire collapsed in July, prompting the heaviest clashes in the region since the 1990s.

President Tayyip Erdogan has said more than 300 members of the security forces have died, while the pro-Kurdish opposition says hundreds of civilians have also been killed.

The army said it killed 26 PKK fighters in the southeastern towns of Nusaybin, Sirnak and Yuksekova on Tuesday alone. It also destroyed explosives and seized weapons and ammunition.

On Tuesday, the PKK killed five members of Turkish security forces in three separate bomb attacks near the Syrian and Iranian borders, army and security sources said.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since it began in 1984. The PKK, which says it is fighting for Kurdish autonomy, is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and European Union.

In face of the surge in violence and the deadly attacks against Turkey, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday Turkey would use its entire military and intelligence might to battle “one of the biggest and bloodiest terrorist waves in its history”.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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