ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish planes bombed Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, the military said on Friday, following a spate of militant attacks on Turkish soil.
“Separatist terrorist organization targets were hit by Turkish Armed Forces planes last night in Northern Iraq, notably in the Qandil mountain and Hakurk region,” the army said.
The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has bases in northern Iraq, from where it launches attacks on Turkish troops and military installations. More than 50 soldiers have been killed as a result of PKK attacks over the last several months.
The bombings came after 17 died on Thursday between Turkish troops backed by helicopter gunships and Kurdish separatists in the predominantly Kurdish southeast.
“The targets were hit successfully,” the army said in a statement posted on its website.
Public anger at the government’s inability to stop the rising violence ahead of next year’s elections has forced Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to ask for support from allies.
Intelligence sharing between Turkey and the United States has increased the effectiveness of Turkey’s sporadic air raids on the group, listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara, the European Union and the United States.
The PKK called off a unilateral ceasefire on June 1.
The PKK took up arms against Turkey in 1984 in a bid to carve out an independent Kurdish state. More than 40,000 people, mainly Kurds, have died in the war.