ISTANBUL, Turkey, (AP) – Turkish warplanes hit a suspected Kurdish rebel target in northern Iraq, Turkey’s military said Sunday.
The cross-border air assault targeted a rebel shelter late Saturday where a group of PKK Kurdish rebels was believed to have gathered before a planned attack in Turkey, the military said on its Web site.
The military provided no casualty figures. The reported air raid on the Avasin-Basyan region of Iraq could not independently be confirmed.
Turkey’s military has launched several air strikes and one ground incursion targeting the PKK rebel safe havens in northern Iraq since the parliament authorized cross-border military moves following a surge in PKK ambushes inside Turkey late last year.
The United States is sharing intelligence with Turkey on the rebels, who maintain bases in Iraq that serve as a launch pad for attacks on targets inside Turkey.
Turkey also has coordinated simultaneous attacks on the rebels with neighboring Iran, which is fighting against PEJAK, the PKK’s Iranian wing.
The rebel group is fighting for self-rule in parts of Turkey’s east and southeast. Tens of thousands of people have died in the fighting.
Majority Kurds in northern Iraqi cities such as Kirkuk, the center of Iraq’s northern oil fields, also want to annex it and surrounding Tamim province into a self-ruled region.