ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey’s military said Friday its jets had bombed nearly 60 Kurdish rebel targets in an attack this week in northern Iraq.
Turkish jets targeted rebel positions on Tuesday in the fourth cross-border aerial attack since Dec. 16. The military said earlier Friday that 10 Kurdish rebels surrendered after the airstrike.
The warplanes destroyed five command centers, two communication centers, 15 training centers, 12 logistics facilities, 18 shelters, two anti-aircraft batteries and four ammunition depots, the military statement said. The rebel targets were in the Zap-Sivi, Avasin-Basyan and Hakurk regions, it said. The military also distributed video footage and images of the operation, in which laser guided bombs were seen hitting some targets.
A large quantity of weapons, ammunition and other equipment was destroyed, it said.
The military said a study was under way to determine the rebel losses through various methods, including intelligence reports.
There has been no immediate rebel reaction to the military’s statement. The Web site of the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency, which often carries rebel statements, was blocked on Friday. A one-line sentence in Turkish and English that appears on the screen reads: “Access to this page has been blocked by law court decision.”
Ten Kurdish rebels, who reportedly fled rebel camps in northern Iraq, turned themselves in to authorities on Thursday in the Turkish town of Silopi near the Iraqi border, the military said Friday. A total of 21 rebels have surrendered over the past month, it said.
The rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, has battled for autonomy in southeastern Turkey for more than two decades, a campaign that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths. It uses strongholds in northern Iraq for cross-border strikes into Turkey.
In October, the Turkish parliament authorized the military to strike at the rebels across the border.
The United States, which with Turkey and the European Union considers the PKK a terrorist organization, has cautioned Ankara against a large incursion, fearing it could disrupt one of Iraq’s more stable regions.
In an apparent retaliation for Turkish attacks, suspected Kurdish militants blew up a car bomb in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir Jan. 3.
The death toll in the bombing rose to seven on Friday when a high school student died of severe burns at a military hospital in Ankara. Although there were dozens of army officers among the 66 injured, all of the dead were civilians and mostly students.