Iraq Summons Turkey’s Envoy Over Military Strikes

Posted August 25th, 2011 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Iraq has summoned Turkey's ambassador to demand an end to Turkish air strikes against Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq.

Iraq's foreign ministry said Thursday that it had launched a formal protest against the strikes, which have killed seven Iraqi civilians.

On Tuesday, Turkey said it had killed an estimated 90 to 100 Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq since launching the air and artillery strikes the previous week. The strikes followed a surge in attacks by the Kurdistan Worker's Party — or PKK — against the Turkish military.

On Thursday, Turkish authorities said a roadside bomb explosion wounded several soldiers traveling in a minibus. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred in Hakkari province, near the border with Iraq.

Kurdish rebels fighting for autonomy in the region have killed some 40 Turkish soldiers since July.

The Turkish military has said it will continue operations against the PKK until the militant group is “rendered ineffective.” However, Ankara says it has also been showing “necessary sensitivity” to avoid harming civilians.

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