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Turkish Jets Pound Kurdish Rebels in Iraq: Security Sources - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A supporter of Nationalist Movement Party chants slogans as he holds a giant party flag during a protest in support of the Turkish Army's operations in Iraq (AFP)

A supporter of Nationalist Movement Party chants slogans as he holds a giant party flag during a protest in support of the Turkish Army’s operations in Iraq (AFP)

AMADIYAH, Northern Iraq,(AFP) – Turkish fighter jets have pounded Kurdish rebel positions in the mountainous Hakurk region of northern Iraq, security sources told AFP.

Members of the Kurdish security force in the autonomous north of Iraq said the raids, which began around 10:00 pm (2000 GMT) Sunday, continued overnight in and around Hakurk, a prominent PKK stronghold some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the Turkish frontier.

Billows of smoke could be seen miles away, they said.

The Firat news agency, considered to be a PKK mouthpiece, said on its Internet site that warplanes took off from the military air base in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s southeast, late Sunday.

The raids came after fighting intensified between Turkish troops and PKK rebels around Hakurk.

Turkish troops crossed into northern Iraq Thursday evening in the largest cross-border offensive in years against PKK hideouts in the region, bombing rebel positions and fighting the militants on the ground.

The Turkish army said Sunday that it killed 112 PKK rebels and lost 15 soldiers since the beginning of the incursion.

Ankara says an estimated 4,000 PKK rebels are holed up in northern Iraq and use the region as a springboard for attacks on Turkish territory as part of their campaign for self-rule in Kurdish-majority southeast Turkey.

The conflict has claimed more than 37,000 lives since the PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Ankara and much of the international community, took up arms in 1984.

A Turkish soldier looks through the roof of an armored personnel carrier which moves toward the Turkey-Iraq border (AP)

A Turkish soldier looks through the roof of an armored personnel carrier which moves toward the Turkey-Iraq border (AP)

A Turkish army Black Hawk helicopter takes off from its base at the Turkey-Iraq border (AP)

A Turkish army Black Hawk helicopter takes off from its base at the Turkey-Iraq border (AP)

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

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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