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Turkey Pounds PKK as ISIS Militants Killed in Shelling, Coalition Air Strike | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters. Reuters

The Turkish military said Saturday that its warplanes have carried out nine airstrikes against Kurdish rebels in the southeast of the country and northern Iraq.

The state-run Anadolu Agency cited the military as saying the warplanes destroyed 98 targets Friday of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

Militants of the party, also known as the PKK, have waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state in a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives. A ceasefire between the two parties collapsed last summer.

Since then, Turkey has witnessed a surge of violence in the southeast including PKK bombing attacks against police and military personnel as well as large-scale military operations to flush out Kurdish rebels.

Turkish warplanes periodically bomb PKK bases in northern Iraq.

State-run Anadolu Agency also said on Saturday that the Turkish military and U.S.-led coalition forces killed 45 ISIS militants in shelling and an air strike north of the Syrian city of Aleppo.

The Turkish border town of Kilis, which lies just across the frontier from ISIS-controlled territory in Syria, has been regularly struck by rockets in recent weeks.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday his country is gearing up to “clear” the Syrian side of its frontier in response to the cross-border fire ISIS.