Iraqi Kurds Denounce Turkish Artillery Strikes

Posted August 24th, 2011 at 11:15 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Several hundred protesters have rallied outside the Turkish consulate in northern Iraq where they denounced Turkey's deadly artillery barrages in the border region.

The demonstrators urged Ankara to stop the ground fire, which has killed seven civilians. The protest took place Wednesday in Irbil, the capital of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

On Tuesday, Turkey's military said it had killed an estimated 90 to 100 Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq since launching the air and artillery strikes last week.

The military said Turkish warplanes have struck 132 targets during the campaign, and that another 80 rebels have been wounded.

It also said the air and ground operations would continue.

The strikes follow a surge in attacks by Kurdistan Workers' Party rebels against the Turkish military. Turkey said it launched the operation after PKK rebels ambushed a military convoy in Turkey, killing at least eight Turkish soldiers near the border with Iraq.

Turkey has promised a renewed crackdown on the rebels, who have waged a campaign for autonomy in the country's largely Kurdish southeast since 1984. The conflict has killed more than 40,000 people.

Turkey, the United States and the European Union consider the PKK a terrorist group.